Galerie Pascal Cuisinier is celebrating the work of Janine Abraham and Dirk-Jan Rol in a new exhibition which runs from 17 March to 22 April 2017. It marks the publication in early 2017 of Abraham & Rol (Éditions Norma), Patrick Favardin’s monograph on this husband-and-wife team of designers and architects.
Janine Abraham and Dirk-Jan Rol, partners in both their professional and private lives, were undoubtedly the most versatile design duo of France’s post-war years.
Janine Abraham trained at the École Camondo, graduating first in class in 1952, and studied under Maxime Old and René-Jean Caillette. She also met Pierre Paulin who would join her at Meubles TV where she produced her first designs.
As for Dirk-Jan Rol, he learnt cabinetmaking in Holland before studying interior design at the prestigious art and design school École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD). Next, they went to work for various architects and decorative artists, such as Jacques Dumond whom they met in 1955.
The following year the couple exhibited at the exhibition organized by the Société des Artistes Décorateurs (SAD) and designed a range of rattan seats for the furniture company Rougier. They opened their very own design consultancy in 1957 to develop numerous projects in not only interior design but also architecture, for Dirk-Jan Rol would soon qualify as an architect.
Their work was noted for the high quality of its design, the pertinent choice of its materials and the originality and inventiveness of its shapes. It distilled to perfection their personalities: the fluidity of Janine’s rattan furniture and Dirk-Jan’s architectural rigour.
Numerous awards came their way, in particular a silver medal at the Milan Triennial in 1957 for an aluminium easy chair – which will be on display at Galerie Pascal Cuisinier – and a gold medal at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958 for their rattan armchair Soleil. Gaining recognition as interior designers, they took on interesting projects for private customers and completed a long list of commercial commissions, such as the rst of the Yves Rocher boutiques and the ultramodern shops of Huchers-Minvielle.
Galerie Pascal Cuisinier has been championing their work for many years, considering it to be equal to that of Pierre Paulin, Pierre Guariche, André Monpoix and Joseph-André Motte. The exhibition will look at their most successful two decades and will include not only their most iconic pieces but also rarer designs, many of which are prototypes and come from private collections. With Dirk-Jan Rol contributing to the design of the exhibition itself, Galerie Pascal Cuisinier aims to highlight their architectural side as well as their very personal approach to the natural world, a strong feature of their work.