François Dallegret - Design New York Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Exhibited

    Centre de Création et de Diffusion en Design, Université du Québec, Montréal, 1985; Saidye Bronfman Cultural Center, Montreal, 1999

  • Literature

    The Architectural Forum, May 1969, p. 99; L'Architecture d'Aujord'hui, May 1971, p. 64; Peter Blake, Artscanada, February-March 1972, p. 66; Vie des Arts, no. 68, Autumn 1972, front cover and p. 21; Archi-crée, May/June/July 1984, pp. 102-103

  • Catalogue Essay

    A machine is a contrivance whose related parts function in tandem for the performance of work. Unlike many chairs, which are static platforms, François Dallegret’s “Chaise Ressort” reacts against the sitter. The single sheet of formed aluminum relaxes and adjusts to the user’s weight and posture, a dynamic response in contradiction to its rigid appearance. “Ressort” means “spring”: the chair recovers its shape after compression. Albeit a simple engine, chair and body together convert force into motion. (Josef Hoffmann’s adjustable armchair is a Sitzmaschine in name only).
    Dallegret first exhibited “Chaise Ressort” at Montreal’s Expo 67. To demonstrate the chair’s flexibility, he hung it from the ceiling by two holes punched in the top rail—a bit of theater no doubt, but a telling display of weightlessness. Indeed, to sit in “Chaise Ressort” is to feel weightless, suspended like an astronaut in a lunar module. As a futurist fluent in the “jargon of science fiction” (Architectural Forum, May 1964), Dallegret turned his attention skyward in keeping with the spirit of the times; the decade had opened with Yuri Gagarin’s orbit and would close with Neil Armstrong’s small step.
    In “Astronef 732”, an early “Graphos” ink drawing from 1963, Dallegret conceived a “Space City”, to be shot to Mars “for the purpose of studying the reactions of younger generations to conditions of extreme crowding in relation to speed.” With these preoccupations—radical living, machines, speed—Dallegret aligned himself with the great innovators of the 20th century, among them Le Corbusier, Buckminster Fuller (who exhibited a geodesic dome at Expo 67), and Joe Colombo, whose vision for streamlined modular living corresponded with Dallegret’s own futurism. 


Prototype thin “Chaise Ressort,”

Formed aluminum sheet.
39 in. (99.1 cm.) high

$24,000 - 32,000 

Sold for $28,750


17 Dec 2008 2pm
New York