Architectural & Minimalist

29 Oct — 31 Dec 2015 at Galerie Pascal Cuisinier in Paris, France

Low Table132 by André Monpoix, Produced by Meubles TV - 1953, Courtesy of Pascal Cuisinier
Low Table132 by André Monpoix, Produced by Meubles TV - 1953, Courtesy of Pascal Cuisinier
13 OCT 2015

The first generation of French designers, championed by Galerie Pascal Cuisinier, was influenced by large functionalist and rationalist ideas of modern architectural movements from the beginning of the century and from their representatives: Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Auguste Perret, Le Corbusier etc…

“Less is more”, the detail in minimalism

These movements are based on the principles of a pure and radical minimalism: a form reduced to its essential being, constitutes a perfectly obvious answer to the function of the object – “less is more” is not an impoverishment but the result of much research into the simplification and purification in order to obtain the perfect form, the most successful proportion and the most careful detail. For example, Alain Richard has redesigned the detail of a protective pad, a handle or a hinge on a piece of furniture dozens of times, sometimes even taking years. Conforming to the guidelines of Mies Van der Rohe, the more minimalist one is, the more detail is important.

Contemporaneity of these principles

Based on these principles, their research has profoundly influenced their contemporaries and future generations. These designers have influenced all mass-produced design up to the current shapes of Ikea furniture. Their projects were taken to the public during the 50s and 60s.

Among the French designers of the 1950s, some taught for many years at ENSAD (National School of Decorative Arts), including Joseph André-Motte, Michel Mortier and René Jean Caillette. Their students benefited from this teaching and have now become architects and designers themselves. In recent years, we have been able to find their works everywhere, in boutiques and in furniture showrooms, from pure copies or in the very recent phenomenon of the re-editions.

Design as rigorous as today’s fashion world

This heritage does not only apply to architecture or furniture design, but extends itself to all of the decorative arts, for example fashion. Heidi Slimane, Kris Assche and Raf Simons talk about their approach in the same way: “Perfect mastery of the cut and refined detail”, “classical rigour and expertise”, “ahead of cuts and materials”. With these designers, elegance is obtained based on the seriousness and purity, the intelligence of the cut and the subtlety of the detail.

Selection and setting are prioritized over radicalism and minimalism

It is this large contemporaneity that Galerie Pascal Cuisinier wishes to highlight, by presenting a selection of around thirty pieces, among them the most radical and minimalist, although created in the 50s. They are also chosen for their rarity and their historical importance.

This selection, from the exceptional collection of the gallery owner, will bring together furniture, chairs and lamps. You will be able to see Alain Richard’s Table 802, as well as a rare Enfilade suspendue (Suspended sideboard) by Philippon Lecoq, but also the remarkable Banquette AR (Bench AR) by Abraham and Rol along with the most radical lamps by J-A Motte, Pierre Guariche et Michel Buffet.

On this occasion, the exhibition space will undergo a complete overhaul in order to emphasize the architecture and stage the radical and minimalist aesthetic of these pieces. A concrete arch, a vast wall made of wood as well as large pedestals will restructure the perspectives of the gallery.