Jean Prouvé: Maison démontable 8×8 Demountable House
Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris, 2013
OUT OF PRINT
Working from the postulate that there was no structural difference between a piece of furniture and a building, Jean Prouvé developed a “constructional philosophy” whose artifice-free aesthetic of functionality and fabrication applied the same principles to furnishings and architecture. First produced in small series in the 1930s, his structures were assembled and integrated with the aid of shrewdly designed systems for modification, dismantling and moving of both furniture and buildings.
Today the oeuvre of French architect and designer Jean Prouvé is considered essential to the history of twentieth century design. Prouvé’s furniture designs were determined by the interior spaces the pieces would inhabit, and they developed in tandem with the Modernist principles of the “art of living” and “harmonious habitat” that were so characteristic of the time. This exquisitely produced and comprehensive volume, which was put together by Paris’ Galerie Patrick Seguin and New York’s Sonnabend Gallery – where Prouvé was the subject of a critically-acclaimed 2003 solo exhibition – fills a hole in the existing scholarship, most of which focuses on Prouvé’s architecture. It includes a collection of interviews with collectors and design professionals, a detailed biography of Prouvé by his daughter, Catherine Prouvé, and essays by design historian Raymond Guidot and architecture historian Catherine Coley.
Jean Prouvé was born in Paris in 1901. He opened his workshop in Nancy in 1923 and began producing furniture the following year. Immediately successful, Prouvé is best known for his innovative applications of new materials, with which he created extremely influential buildings and furniture – including several gas stations for Shell and Mobile.