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Jean Prouvé’s philosophy

Rare insight into the philosophy developed by JEAN PROUVÉ through a series of 9 episodes on architecture. Each episode will be dedicated to a specific topic. The episode will be posted on our instagram account from Monday, 14th to Wednesday, 16th June.

Pierre Jeanneret – Library table with light, ca. 1963-64

This reading table designed by PIERRE JEANNERET was intended for the Legislative Assembly and the University of Punjab library in Chandigarh, India.

Commissionned by Nehru to construct the new capital of the Punjab region when India gained independence in 1947, LE CORBUSIER designed a project that would illustrate the country’s bright future. Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier’s cousin and lifelong collaborator, was entrusted the designing of most of the furniture of the city.

Jeanneret opted for readily available materials, with an emphasis on the different local spieces of wood -here teak- rot-resistant and perfectly adapted to the vicissitude of the climate. The large table top rests on two solid ‘‘angle’’ typeside legs while the lightning is provided by two central reflectors in folded sheet metal, mounted on tubes of lacquered steel. A central slab in frosted glass separates both sides and provides more privacy to readers.

The table can with ease accomodate up to six seats. This elegant yet sturdy model is typical of Jeanneret’s style.

Jean Royère – Exceptional straw marquetry pieces

JEAN ROYÈRE approached his metier in spirit of unfettered freedom, his imagination, receptivity and curiosity enabling an all-embracing view of the creative context of his time. While he shared with the Union of Modern Artists’ emphasis on functionality above all, he also admired the craftsmanship that enabled ready adaptation of a piece to its intended setting. Responsive to simple forms and the principle of furnishings reduced to the strict minimum, he charted a course guided by unfailing attention to harmony.

His work compelled recognition with the undogmatic modernity of pieces designed for everyday living and its perfect balance between elegance and relaxation. His drawings and plans testify to his taste for the pare-down: once he had outlined the counters the embellishment is never overstated. On the contrary most often the decorative motif is an integral part of the piece.

The straw marquetry pieces reflect his approach: the sophisticated technique he uses drawn on eighteenth- century French cabinetmaking but simplifies the decorative motif by opting for dynamic zigzag lines. His relatively modest ornementation fulfills a specific function: it lets line express itself fully, never supplanting it and never intruding on the beauty of the design.

These sideboard and wardrobe were part of a large commission Royère carried out at the request of Mr. & Mrs. Goldenberg in the early 1950s and are in remarkable condition.

Although Royère particularly appreciated this material, he produced a very limited number of straw marquetry meubles d’appui of which these sideboard and wardrobe are prime examples.

Jean Prouvé, S.A.M. no. 506 table, ca. 1951

Derived from the prewar prototype, a metal version of the dining table base was finalized in 1951. It originated from dining room furniture that were given the “Meubles de France” award in 1947.

The model was demountable and delivered in kit form with assembly instructions, as evidenced by the protrusion of the cap-ends where the crossmember frame meets the brace connecting the bent steel legs. The base was attached to the crosspieces of the upper frame with brackets and screws.

The piece gave rise to several variants such as the Tropique one that was designed for Air France Congo in Brazzaville (Africa).

FIAC Online Viewing Rooms

For the first edition of FIAC Online Viewing Rooms, GALERIE PATRICK SEGUIN will present a fine selection of works by JEAN PROUVÉ, PIERRE JEANNERET, CHARLOTTE PERRIAND, LE CORBUSIER and JEAN ROYÈRE, prominent figures in the history of 20th century design.

Jean Prouvé, with a pioneering approach to production based on a “constructional philosophy” that applied the same principles to furniture and architecture alike, created timeless works that stood out through their unashamed esthetic. His on going concern with standardization and the modernity of his approach are reflected in the refined Direction Office chair (1951) and Guéridon Haut (1948) on display.

Selected pieces by Jeanneret and Le Corbusier from the landmark project of Chandigarh in India will also be on view. Commissioned by Nehru to construct Chandigarh — the new capital of the Punjab region — when India gained independence in 1947, Le Corbusier designed a project that would illustrate the country’s bright future. Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier’s cousin and lifelong collaborator, was entrusted the designing of most of the furniture of the city. Each piece was intended for a specific place and use, with close attention to the symbolic context and were made in local materials. The Advocate chairs (ca. 1955–56) in teak and hide upholstery for instance were intended for the High Court. Thus the furnishings provide a clear, immediate image of authority and hierarchy.

Freeing herself from conventional aesthetics, Perriand soon turned to working with wood. Her four-year stay in Japan was instrumental in the development of her practice, but it was rather after the War that she developed her own conception of housing to the full, achieving a synthesis of the traditional and the industrial. Two of her most impressive creations, namely the Desk (1952) in pitch pine and the iconic Tokyo bench (1954) that was inspired by traditional Japanese design, will illustrate the refinement of her functional yet elegant pieces in wood.

In Jean Royère’s design vocabulary, simple wavy lines of metal tubing can turn into a light evocative of a luxuriant bouquet such as with the impressive 10-branched wall light (1939) on view. Royère facetiously plays with the floral motif, that quickly becomes the source of an entire array of organic shapes. A great liberty and playfulness exude from this exquisite piece that illustrate themes dear to the decorator: the vegetal and the imaginative realms.

JEAN PROUVÉ, Guéridon bas GB 21, ca. 1947

This Guéridon bas with a Comblanchien limestone top is a rare version of the Guéridon bas GB 21 designed by JEAN PROUVÉ. With its subtle light beige colour and light wood, the low table constitutes a delicate addition to an interior.

The few examples of the Guéridon bas that were first designed during the Second World War as a low table for the Visiteur armchair underwent slight variations in size and detailing over the years. As for the other pieces of furniture Prouvé designed at that time, metal was kept to a minimum due to material shortages. Its use is here limited to a triangular bent steel armature, which three bolted sections grip three slotted and notched solid wood legs.

The idea behind the construction of its frame was that the top “should not influence the construction of the piece.”

Clearly identified in the sales catalogs of the time as a demountable piece of furniture, the Guéridon bas was initially offered in two heights and tabletop diameters in glass, marble or wood.

Gallery Tour

Experience a virtual tour of our showroom with pieces by Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier.

Update—Temporary Gallery Closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak

In order to protect the well-being of our staff and visitors, the gallery will be temporarily closed to the public as of Monday March 16.
We look forward to re opening the gallery soon and seeing you.
During this time let’s stay in touch via Instagram, our website and online communication!