Charlotte Perriand - Design New York Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Jousse Seguin, Paris, France

  • Literature

    Galeries Jousse Seguin and Enrico Navarra, Jean Prouvé, Paris, 1998, p. 120 for a Galerie Steph Simon advertisement and illustrated p. 121

  • Catalogue Essay

    Working with the Ateliers Jean Prouvé in the 1950s, Charlotte Perriand’s focus shifted to the study and incorporation of bent sheet metal.  Upon joining Prouvé, her contract with the Ateliers stipulated that, among other tasks, Perriand was to create new designs for industrial production using the bent metal and she was to design built-in furniture that would hopefully expand the Ateliers’ business.  Beginning with specific commissions for the Maison de la Tunisie and the Maison du Mexique dormitories at the Cité Universitaire in Paris, she designed a series of of built-in, free-standing and wall-mounted bookshelves, re-introducing metal into her otherwise mostly wood designs. 
    Like the bookshelves for the Cité Universitaire, the shelf supports in the present lot were made entirely of bent sheet metal that was curved to create modular areas for storage.  Unlike those bookshelves, however, the offered unit is devoid of color and relies solely on the natural presence of the materials to command attention amidst the overall interior of the space.  These bookshelves exemplify Perriand’s general approach to her designs which was to consider the design as part of a total space, and to be an extension of the architecture the piece inhabits. 

  • Artist Biography

    Charlotte Perriand

    French • 1903 - 1999

    Trailblazer Charlotte Perriand burst onto the French design scene in her early 20s, seemingly undeterred by obstacles in an era when even the progressive Bauhaus school of design barred women from architecture and furniture design courses. She studied under Maurice Dufrêne at the École de l'Union Centrale des art Décoratifs, entering into a competition at the 1925 Expo des Arts Décoratifs by age 22 and gaining critical acclaim for her exhibition at the Salon d'Automne in 1927.

    On the heels of this success, that same year she joined the Paris design studio of Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. For ten years the three collaborated on "equipment for living," such as the iconic tubular steel B306 Chaise Longue (1928). After World War II, Perriand joined forces with Jean Prouvé to create modernist furniture that combined the precise lines of Prouvé's bent steel with the soft, round edges and warmth of natural wood.

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Important wall-mounted bookshelves

ca. 1950
Aluminum, oak.
55 1/4 x 126 x 13 1/4 in. (140.3 x 320 x 33.7 cm)
Manufactured by Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, France and editioned by Galerie Steph Simon, France.

$400,000 - 600,000 


12 June 2008, 2pm
New York