Where Were We shop sign

Kara Hamilton & Angie Keefer, 2014, stainless steel, approx. 47 x 60 cm
There is a pleat, or a certain type of gown, known as a Watteau Pleat or a Watteau Gown, though the painter Watteau doesn’t seem to have had much to do with its invention. He merely depicted the look repeatedly, famously, and once in petal pink satin on the back of a woman ascending a step. The latter stars in a shop sign commissioned by a man who made his living selling art and baubles to aristocrats, though it’s unclear whether artist or client truly expected the painting to advertise anything other than itself. Indeed, the sign depicts aristocrats shopping for art and baubles, but a buyer acquired it from Gersaint, the shop owner, almost immediately; Watteau died shortly thereafter; and now the work is considered his final masterpiece, rather than, say, a watershed in the history of sign making.

–“Where Were We,” Angie Keefer, Bulletins of The Serving Library #6, 2013

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