Jean Prouvé - Design / Design Art New York Thursday, December 14, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Dollander House, Nancy, France.

  • Literature

    Benedikt Taschen, ed., Jean Prouvé , Cologne, 1991, pp. 30-31; Galeries Jousse Seguin and Enrico Navarra, Jean Prouvé, Paris, 1998, p. 54; Peter Sulzer, Jean Prouvé: Œuvre Compléte, Volume 3: 1944-1954, Basel, 2005, pp. 38, 157 and 159-160; Vitra Design Museum, Jean Prouvé – La poétique de l’objet technique, 2006, pp. 310-322

  • Catalogue Essay

    An extremely successful design since the 1950s, the "Visiteur" armchair was first designed in 1942 for the Salvoy Institution. The chair comes in two variations: a non-dismountable model and a model with an adjustable back. Although models have been modified slightly through the years, the horizontal front of the armrest – one of the most distinctive and important features of the 1942 “Visiteur” design - has always remained. This feature allows the sitter to rest an item, such as a glass, on the armrest without fear of the item slipping.

  • 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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Pair of "Visiteur" armchairs

ca. 1942
Oak, aluminum, rubber, steel, fabric, leather.
Each: 37 in. (94 cm) high
Manufactured by les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, France (2).

$55,000 - 65,000 

Sold for $74,400

Design / Design Art

14 Dec 2006, 2pm
New York