A New Paris Exhibition Showcases Top Mid-Century Design, Including Works By Noll and Royère


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What You Need to Know: Galerie Jacques Lacoste Gallery in Paris focuses on French design from the 1950s, an enthusiastically experimental era. The new exhibition “Icônes 1950” presents a curation of the defining works from the era by some of its most innovative designers, including Max Ingrand, Georges Jouve, Mathieu Matégot, Serge Mouille, Alexandre Noll, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, and Jean Royère. The objects on view embody a post-war aesthetic ethos that sought to capture the beauty in function as France underwent a period of rebuilding and simultaneous modernization.

Why We Like It: Dealer Jacques Lacoste is a devoted connoisseur of the era and the works on view have been selected with exquisite care. The exhibition offers a particularly strong assortment of works by Jean Royère, whose archives Lacoste acquired in 1997, including a rare “Baquet” armchair (1955) covered in goat hair, along with several highly sought-after lighting fixtures by Max Ingrand, among other gems.

Installation view “Icônes 1950” 2021. Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

Installation view “Icônes 1950” 2021. Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

What the Gallery Says: “The design from this era is characterized by a certain porosity between the arts and the free and organic forms emblematic of the furniture of the 1950s echo the works of Jean Arp, Alexandre Calder, Fernand Léger or Yves Tanguy… Most of the great signatures of the post war-era (in particular Charlotte Perriand, Jean Royère, Jean Prouvé, Alexandre Noll, Max Ingrand, Mathieu Matégot) started in the course of the years 1920—1930… The modernist movement of the 1920s and ’30s opened up design and the decorative arts to industrial materials (glass, metal), the 1950s broadened this repertoire by reconnecting with natural materials,” wrote art historian Françoise Claire Prodhon in a text for the exhibition.

 

Mathieu Matégot
Low table model “Mondrian” (ca. 1956)
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Mathieu Matégot, Low table model “Mondrian” (ca. 1956). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

Mathieu Matégot, Low table model “Mondrian” (ca. 1956). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

 

Serge Mouille
“Cactus” table lamp (ca. 1962)
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Serge Mouille, “Cactus” table lamp (ca. 1962). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

Serge Mouille, “Cactus” table lamp (ca. 1962). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

 

Alexandre Noll
Pair of chairs in carved mahogany (1940)
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Alexandre Noll, Pair of chairs in carved mahogany (1940). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

Alexandre Noll, Pair of chairs in carved mahogany (1940). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

 

Jean Royère
Sideboard (ca. 1951)
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Jean Royère, Sideboard (ca. 1951). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

Jean Royère, Sideboard (ca. 1951). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

 

Jean Royère
“Baquet” armchair (1955)
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Jean Royère, "Baquet" armchair (1955). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

Jean Royère, “Baquet” armchair (1955). Courtesy of Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

 

“Icônes 1950” is on view at Galerie Jacques Lacoste, Paris, through July 24, 2021.

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