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Yolande Batteau‘s Callidus Guild is a design atelier known for creating wallpapers and exquisite surfaces for high profile clients like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Graff, and Tiffany & Co. Based in Brooklyn, Callidus Guild’s headquarters is a 3,000 square foot refurbished shoe factory, which also serves, on occasion, as Batteau’s personal art studio.
On October 30, Batteau opened the space to the public under the name Gallery Twenty Twenty Two to present its inaugural exhibition, “The Stone Show.” Featuring Batteau’s own works along side those of Avery A Gregory, and Richard Hart, the presentation (open through November 30) is centered around the earth’s oldest, most unassuming material, and creates a conversation between the three artists, whose works are created with and surrounding rocks and stone.
To learn more about Callidus Guild and her other artistic endeavors, Whitewall caught up with Batteau for a little chat.
WHITEWALL: Your practice—both within Callidus Guild and in your painting—pushes our perception of material. Tell us about your interest in pushing the possibility and tactile nature of material?
YOLANDE BATTEAU: I delight in the chemical reactions that emerge in working with new or ancient materials, their interplay or arguments create fascinating textural stories. We recently debuted a new wallpaper and surface collection, titled Matte, that reinterprets organic materials such as slaked lime and marble plaster, reimagining them to create surfaces that mimic naturally occurring textures in the world, evoking ancient stone walls and dusty surfaces of centuries past.
WW: Is there a material you’ve been exploring lately, either in design or art?
YB: Stones, minerals, wood. This October I’m debuting my personal art work, alongside artists Avery Gregory and Richard Hart, in our inaugural exhibition The Stone Show, which will take place in our studio space, referred to as Gallery Twenty Twenty Two for the occasion. Each of us are using the pre-history and history of stone as our guide, reconfiguring and re-contextualizing some of earth’s most ancient materials to create pieces in conversation with each other.
WW:You’ve created custom wallpaper and surface finishes for brands like Tiffany, Graff, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. What kind of retail experiences do you aim to create with bespoke interiors?
YB: My work aims to create conversations about beauty, virtuosity, subtlety and humor.
WW: You work with private clients, creating interiors that are often filled with art. When creating a surface or wall finish around an art collection, what are your considerations?
YB: Never upstage the artwork. We want to develop palettes that reinforce the space as a ground for the art work itself, quietly. Our surfaces and finishes are designed to sit comfortably alongside contemporary design and art while affirming their own permanence and role in a room.
WW: How do you encourage your clients to be bold in their design choices?
YB: I encourage clients to be bold in their choices by demonstrating the wild array of unusual materials available, including mother of pearl, sand, pigments, gold and silver leaf and marble powder renders and washes.
WW: With interiors, we often think more about how furniture or objects make a room – but wall treatments and surfaces really can make the largest impact. Can you share some of your favorite recent custom transformational projects?
YB: I am currently refreshing a house Upstate I bought from Tyler Hays of BDDW. It is like having a creative discussion with a master’s work, both accepting their choices and challenging them to sort of co-create a space for making art over time.
WW: Can you tell us about the design choices you made in your own studio? What environment do you create best in?
YB: The simplest space possible, with great light and good tools. Our Brooklyn studio was once a derelict shoe factory, and is home to a lush, green courtyard and ample garden space that is we use as a meeting-point for industry gatherings, helping us to grow and maintain meaningful relationships within the local creative community.