Jourdain | Sognot | Old | Caillette | Philippon & Lecoq
« Les années 50 »
Demisch Danant | Stand #606
Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Center, Forum 100
Preview: March 5-6, 2020
March 7-15, 2020
For TEFAF Maastricht 2020, Demisch Danant presents The Modernists, a selection of important French furniture conceived by three generations of designers of the 20th century. This group all shared the same principles of modernity—simplicity and functionality—and were considered radicals in their time.
In addition to French furniture from the early 1920s through the late 1960s, Demisch Danant also presents Eugène Leroy: Les années 50, featuring paintings by Eugène Leroy. Although not widely recognized in his earlier periods of the 1950s and 1960s because of a more traditional style, Leroy’s genius and talent was acutely articulated at this early stage.
Exhibition highlights include an Asymmetric and Stepped Modernist Console (c. 1928) by Francis Jourdain, commissioned for a prestigious client’s 600-square-meter Parisian living room, originally from a pair among a larger group of furniture that Jourdain designed for its interior. The pair of asymmetrical consoles were considered a part of the architecture to divide and structure the oversized space. The stepped shape of the console is characteristic of Jourdain’s “repertoire of shapes,” emphasizing the idea that exhibiting objects in a room and using the furniture to display them is essential. Designed during the period of creation when the Union des Artistes Moderne (UAM) was established in 1929, the console is historically and aesthetically important in Jourdain’s creative development.
Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq were brilliant exemplars of the intellectual rigor, lucidity and balance that characterized French furniture production in the 1950s and 1960s. Another important highlight, Philippon and Lecoq’s Desk (1967) is a pure piece of architecture, structured by three pieces of glass—legs and top—supporting the body of the desk made of wood. In 1959, Philippon and Lecoq designed a glass desk in a simpler configuration and won second prize in the “use of glass products in furniture” competition in 1960. In 1967, the couple reinterpreted the design of their desk for Mobilier National. The first models made by the Mobilier National furnished the offices of the French Pavilion of the International Exhibition of Montreal in 1967. The desk presented here at TEFAF came from this commission which had remained in Montreal since 1967.
Other examples of prestigious commissions on view include a rare Chair (1947) by Colette Gueden commissioned by the Mobilier National in 1947 for the Élysée Palace children’s room and a Pair of Armchairs (c.1962) and a Low Table (c. 1962) designed by Maxime Old for the original interior of the “Grand Salon des première classes” also called “Salon Fontainebleau,” the most illustrious living space on the SS France.
The Modernists is part of a series entitled Sources of Modernity that seeks to establish relationships and links between the former generation of pioneers of UAM including Francis Jourdain, Pierre Chareau, René Herbst, and the following generation active in the 40s and 50s, like Louis Sognot, Maxime Old, Jacques Dumond and Marcel Gascoin, were inspired by the research and accomplishments of their mentors, trained the young emerging designers of the early 50s and 60s, including Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq, , René-Jean Caillette, and Joseph-André Motte, as teachers and employers. Dumond and others inspired the younger designers to lead the way in creating modern furniture for a larger audience. Finally, the industry harnessed a way to translate UAM concepts of mass productions to a “modernist” utopia.