In the Room | Summer
June 2—July 2, 2022
Demisch Danant presents In the Room | Summer, Part I, an installation of rare works of French design spanning the 1920s through the 1970s. Featuring designers from various periods — Janine Abraham and Dirk Jan Rol, Geneviève Dangles and Christian Defrance, René-Jean Caillette, Maria Pergay, and Gilbert Poillerat — the presentation newly energizes French postwar design, emphasizing the precision, intimacy, and innovation in material and style which have remained underlying constants across the decades.
The installation unfolds in several parts. A window presentation features very early pieces by René-Jean Caillette who trained as an engineer before he began designing furniture. A Pair of Armchairs from 1948 and a Dining Table from 1950 demonstrate the technical achievement known to this designer, and are crafted of oak, an accessible and affordable wood during wartime material restrictions.
A meditation on domesticity, the main room is structured around a living room showcasing a unique Corner Sofa designed by Gilbert Poillerat (1902–1988) for a private commission in Neuilly in 1960. Nearby is Maria Pergay’s Table Cocktail Ronde (1960) from the cultivated collection of Karl Lagerfeld, surrounded by two extremely rare chairs — an Abraham and Rol molded plywood SRA1 Lounge Chair (1961) and a Geneviève Dangles and Christian Defrance modular chair designed for Wickform (1961) — as well as a Gueridon by Dangles and Defrance (1960).
The final chapter of the presentation is a selection of pieces by the trio of designers Joseph-André Motte, Pierre Guariche, and Michel Mortier, who partnered under the title of A.R.P (Atelier de Recherches Plastiques) during three years between 1954 and 1957. Their Elément Minvielle modular system of cabinets includes various configurations, such as their secretary and wardrobe in mahogany veneer with original white painted legs and body.
Important and extremely rare is Pierre Guariche/A.R.P. G 35 Light Table, 1955 shown in the gallery for the first time. Our model is the pre-series and was created a few years before the later edition by Disderot and this time under the signature of Pierre Guariche. Presumably one of the first made under the A.R.P. relationship, the table is one of the very first attempts to incorporate lighting into furniture.
Also on view is a unique 1928 Console privately commissioned from Francis Jourdain, a never-before-exhibited Louis Sognot Dining Table for Rinck (1962), and a set of Gustave Gautier Dining Chairs commissioned for a private residence in Neuilly in the early 1960s.
Installation Photography by William Jess Laird