METAL MATRIARCH. IN THE 1960S, MARIA PERGAY'S INTRIGUINGLY VOLUPTUOUS ONE-OFF PIECES IN STEEL WERE, PERHAPS, DESIGN ART AVANT LA LETTRE. NOW 56 YEARS INTO HER CAREER, SHE’S STILL PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN DISCIPLINES.
She he started her career 56 years ago making decorative silver objects, but it was her move to stainless steel in the 1960s that transformed Maria Pergay's work and life. Then an unconventional material in furniture design, stainless steel quickly became her trademark, and the work won immediate acclaim. Important commissions followed for interiors and furniture that enhanced the homes of well-heeled clients. She has been bending, folding and draping metal into curvaceous shapes ever since. The Russian-born designer, who has never belonged to a distinct design movement - 'I don't want to be part of a troupe' - became a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2011, the ultimate acknowledgment of having made a notable contribution to French culture. On the eve of her latest exhibition (Secret Garden at the Dem isch Danant Gallery in New York City), Pergay offered insights into her world from the Hotel Lutetia in Paris…
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Written by Chris Scott