Eugène Alain Seguy (1890-1985) is quite a mysterious figure in early 20thC Europe, with little information available on him. Some sources suggest there were two men with the same name – one an entomologist, responsible for founding the Diptera section in the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and the other a surface designer, whose numerous patterns included a substantial number based on insects.
Whichever of the two it was -either 2 men or 2 sides of the same man -Seguy produced eleven albums of nature themed illustrations and patterns, drawing inspiration from papillons and other insects, flowers, foliage, crystals and animals. Seguy was one of few artists that successfully combined both Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles in his work. His brightly colored geometric patterns were intended to be used as inspiration for such decorative items as textiles and wallpaper
We at Laughing Elephant are lucky enough to have a volume of his pochoir prints, entitled "Floréal" as well as some single prints of his beautiful work.
We have made a set of notebooks which showcase these prints to make this wonderful designs available to the public.
"Pochoir, a kind of stencil technique, become quite complex in practice, with some images requiring the use of 100 or so stencils to produce a single print. The technique was regularly used to produce plates in French fashion journals as well as being used to illustrate industrial design, textile, interiors, and architecture folios.
Pochoir is thought to be a reaction to what was seen as a general debasement of machine printing technology during the time period. Jean Saudé, the individual who most influenced the pochoir technique, believed that pochoir was the only process which translated the artist’s original intent because it was entirely done by hand. Saudé considered the process to be a type of hyphen between the artist and the public. After viewing the original pochoir prints of Seguy’s work, it is easy to see exactly what Saudé was referring to. Pochoir allows for characteristics such as defined surface elevation through the use of thick paint, visible brush strokes, texture, gradation and transparent colors. When one views an original pochoir print, especially one designed by an artist of Seguy’s talent, it feels as if you are holding an original one of a kind painting in your hand. The print has a certain texture and surface quality akin to original gouache and watercolor paintings that is hard to find in other reproduction methods." -Ashley Jones Preservation Librarian, Miami University