From November 12 -16, 2015, 27 Rue de Grenelle will fill the gallery’s stand (A11) at The Salon Art + Design at the Park Avenue Armory, New York. Curated by Stephane Danant, the exhibition brings together exceptional furniture and lighting by Francois Arnal, Michel Boyer, Jean Dives, Jacques Grange, Pierre Paulin, and Maria Pergay, with drawings and wall sculptures by César, the internationally celebrated French artist
and founding member of the Nouveaux Réalistes. The show takes its title from the quintessential Left Bank street that is the address of some of the most discretely luxurious residences in Europe, homes where design and art mingle in a uniquely French approach to interiors. Rue de Grenelle was also once home to César, whose rise to fame paralleled the emergence of American Pop Art.
Styled as a Parisian apartment, 27 Rue de Grenelle suggests the atmosphere of eclectic sophistication that would have enveloped visitors to the domain of a discerning Paris collector of the 1970s. Here one finds Jean Dives’ elegantly spartan Desk (1971) and René Jean Caillette’s rare leather and molded plywood Sofa settee (1966) accompanied by an array of Pierre Paulin’s various upholstered Pacha chairs (1975), Michel Boyer’s sensual curving glass and bronze Screen Lamp (1975), and the suggestively tangled metal skeins of César’s 1970 Untitled compression sculpture. Such distinctive juxtapositions of relaxed sensuality and high refinement are definitive elements of French style that intensified in the 1970s, when designers and artists experimented avidly with such new materials as Plexiglass, industrial plastics, and other unexpected mediums. Similarly, bold pairings of art and design – the beguiling visual puns that reverberate between such objects as artist Philippe Hiquily’s 1966 glass and steel Table and the legs of the centaurs in César’s charcoals -- have always characterized the defining French appreciation for the applied arts as the true peer of fine art.
Among other highlights of 27 Rue de Grenelle are Pierre Paulin’s Élysee Bookcase (1971); Francois Arnal’s Plexiglas Elice Console (1968), commissioned by legendary decorator and international tastemaker Henri Samuel for his own apartment; and Maria Pergay’s Pair of Lounge Chairs (1970), in which broad ribbons of steel become meditations on the unlikely allure and domestic potentials of a material previously associated with machinery. In these and other works, 27 Rue de Grenelle celebrates the mélanges of design and art, concerted innovation and respect for classic geometries that are defining elements of postwar French style.