DEMISCH DANANT TO PRESENT DESIGN STEEL, A TRIBUTE TO THE FAMILIAR INDUSTRIAL MATERIAL REINVENTED BY LEADING FRENCH CREATORS OF THE 1960s AND 1970s
New York…Beginning December 2, 2015, Demisch Danant will present Design Steel, an exhibition devoted to design works through which leading French creators repurposed stainless steel and transformed this material once limited strictly to industry, into new paradigms of domestic style in the 1960s and 1970s. On view will be furniture by Jean Paul Barray and Kim Moltzer, Jean Garçon, Michel Boyer, Olivier Mourgue, and Maria Pergay, and lighting by Ben Swildens, Jean Pierre Vitrac, Sabine Charoy and Etienne Fermigier, all situated within a décor inspired by the interior architecture of Boyer.
On view through December 6th in the gallery’s stand (G10) at Design Miami, Design Steel also includes a cabinet of exceptional 1970s lamps produced by Verre Lumiere, the most prestigious and creative French lighting design firm of the period.
Design Steel takes its name from the company founded in the 70s by Maria Pergay, who had pioneered the use of the stainless steel in 1968. The exhibition celebrates steel as a medium for innovation by other French designers, and focuses upon those who domesticated its cold, hard, and rigid effects in furnishings that were distinctively sensual and luxe: Furniture crafted in the material played a central role in the evolution of French taste, with steel framing frequently coupled with soft geometric upholstered elements, as in Boyer’s Lounge chair (1970) and Etienne Henri Martin’s Programme 1500 Chair (1965). Such inventive juxtapositions brought an elegant contemporaneity to the environments in which they were placed. Other designers including Jean Garçon and the partnership of Kim Moltzer and Jean Paul Barray, also co-opted industrial techniques to give steel high impact in the world of high design.
Within Design Steel, Demisch Danant will present a cabinet show of the work of important French lighting firm Verre Lumiere. Initiated in 1968 by designer Max Ingrand, the company that produced lighting for many renowned French designers and served as French distributor for key designs by the Italian firm Fontana Arte, as well as such celebrated Italian figures as Gio Ponti.
Through the efforts of director Jacques Vidal and his network of architects and interior designers, Verre Lumiere realized lighting for numerous prestigious commissions, including George Pompidou’s private salon at the Palais Élysée in Paris (a project completed under the direction of Pierre Paulin and the Mobilier National), and the Embassy of the Republic of France in Brasília, Brazil, under direction of Michel Boyer.
Some of the most significant lamps of the 1970s and 80s were manufactured in the workshops of Verre Lumiere in Puteaux, where a group of 40 people worked under the direction of Sabine Charoy , head of the studio, and Ben Swildens, artistic director. In Design Steel, Demisch Danant will spotlight the early years of Verre Lumiere – 1968-1973 – via rare and important lamps mostly made of steel and chromed metal. Among these are examples by Jean Pierre Vitrac, Michel Boyer, Ben Swildens, Sabine Charoy, and Etienne Fermigier.