From February 27th to April 4th, 2015, for their eighth collaboration, Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Patrick Seguin bring together the extraordinary sculptures of John Chamberlain and, for the first time in New York, 2 iconic demountable houses: Jean Prouvé’s Demountable Ferembal House, 1948, adapted by Jean Nouvel and Jean Prouvé’s School Complex of Villejuif, 1956.
Gagosian New York
, in collaboration with Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris, is pleased to present works by American artist John Chamberlain and French architect and designer Jean Prouvé, two twentieth century innovators who harnessed the strength and suppleness of metal to new potential in their respective fields. Large- and small-scale sculptures by Chamberlain will be in visual dialogue with two prefabricated houses and key architectural models by Prouvé. John Chamberlain began to create distinctive metal sculptures from industrial detritus during the late 1950s. While freely experimenting with a range of inexpensive materials—from paper bags to Plexiglas, foam rubber, and aluminum foil—again and again he returned to metal car components such as bumpers and hoods, which he dubbed “art supplies.” The assemblages preserve traces of his manipulation of machine-made elements: crumpling, bending, twisting, painting and welding steel to form deliberate gestures, he then fused these individual sections into thrilling multi-colored aggregations that range from miniature to monumental.
Jean Prouvé is widely acknowledged as one of the twentieth century’s most influential industrial designers. A self-taught engineer and passionate teacher, metalworker, architect and designer, he brought a strong social conscience to his pragmatic structural approach. Prouvé created furniture for the home, office, and classroom—as well as prefabricated houses, building components and façades—for more than sixty years. Consistent with his belief that “in their construction there is no difference between furniture and buildings,” he applied the same principles used in the making of furniture to his architecture of the postwar reconstruction. Streamlining research, development, and production, he was instrumental in ushering in building processes based on mechanized industry rather than artisanal craft. In combination with Chamberlain, the spare elegance of Prouvé’s architecture underscores the eruptions of form and color that Chamberlain’s sculptures achieved with like materials, a striking intersection of groundbreaking functionality and raw creative exuberance.
Since its opening in 1989 Galerie Patrick Seguin has been building a collection of Jean Prouvé demountable houses that is today the largest in the world. With 19 of these structures ranging from 172 to 2054 sq. ft., the gallery has worked strenuously to promote Jean Prouvé’s architecture through numerous exhibitions and fairs throughout the world, including at the MoMa in New York, DesignMiamiBasel/, the Venice Biennale, and the Pinacoteca Govanni e Marella Agnelli in Turin.
Accompanying its exhibitions, Galerie Patrick Seguin has also developed an editorial line of comprehensive publications and is currently releasing a set of 5 monographs dedicated to Jean Prouvé’s demountable architecture, illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs.
These 5 volumes are the first of 15 that will be released in 3 separate boxed sets over the course of 2015 and 2016.
Marking the gallery’s tenth participation at the fair, Galerie Patrick Seguin presents works by Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand created for the dormitories of French universities. Two dormitory rooms by Prouvè (for the Cité Universitaires in Nancy and Anthony near Paris) and one by Le Corbusier and Perriand (the House of Brazil at the Cité Internationale Universitaire) are displayed for the first time in this retrospective of the three iconic designers’ no-fuss approach to economical, solid design.