Jean Prouvé - Design New York Tuesday, December 15, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Pierre Prouvé (brother of the designer)
    Thence by descent through the Prouvé family
    Christie’s, Paris, “Arts Décoratifs du XXème Siècle & Design,” May 27, 2011, lot 39
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Jean Prouvé Constructeur, exh. cat., Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1991, p. 128
    Peter Sulzer, Jean Prouvé: Œuvre Complète/Complete Works, Volume 2: 1934-1944, Basel, 2000, p. 33, pp. 294-25, figs. 915,1-3 and 915,4-5
    Jean Prouvé, Volume 2, Galerie Patrick Seguin and Sonnabend Gallery Paris and New York, 2007, p. 234, pp. 250-53

  • Catalogue Essay

    Jean Prouvé designed the “Tout Bois” chair in the context of World War II steel shortages. There were variations with and without visible tenons through the back legs, as well as a later demountable version which was developed in 1948.

  • Artist Biography

    Jean Prouvé

    French • 1901 - 1984

    Jean Prouvé believed in design as a vehicle for improvement. His manufactory Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, located in Nancy, France, produced furniture for schools, factories and municipal projects, both within France and in locations as far flung as the Congo. Though he designed for the masses, pieces such as his "Potence" lamps and "Standard" chairs are among the most iconic fixtures in sophisticated, high-design interiors today. Collectors connect with his utilitarian, austere designs that strip materials down to the bare minimum without compromising on proportion or style.

    Prouvé grew up in Nancy, France, the son of Victor Prouvé, an artist and co-founder of the École de Nancy, and Marie Duhamel, a pianist. He apprenticed to master blacksmiths in Paris and opened a small wrought iron forge in Nancy. However it was sheet steel that ultimately captured Prouvé's imagination, and he ingeniously adapted it to furniture, lighting and even pre-fabricated houses, often collaborating with other design luminaries of the period, such as Robert Mallet-Stevens, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand.

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Set of six “Tout Bois" chairs

circa 1942
Oak, oak-veneered plywood.
Each: 32 1/2 x 16 3/8 x 19 1/4 in. (82.6 x 41.6 x 48.9 cm)
Manufactured by Les Etablissements Vauconsant for Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, Nancy, France.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $75,000

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New York Auction 15 December 2015 1pm