Selected Works

Installation views. Photos by Thierry Depagne.

New York, NY…Demisch Danant is pleased to announce the gallery’s first participation in TEFAF Maastricht with Pierre Paulin, Maria Pergay, and Sheila Hicks. Through this selection of exceptional works created in France in the 1970s and 1980s, the gallery will explore the inventiveness and unique penchant for material exploration that marks the contributions of three titans of postwar design.

On view from March 13-22, the exhibition will include significant designs conceived by the late Pierre Paulin for two landmark presidential commissions, as well as iconic early works by Maria Pergay and three works by renowned Paris-based American artist Sheila Hicks.

On a 1983 visit to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, President François Mitterand became fascinated with works designed by Pierre Paulin and fabricated by the Mobilier National – objects that expressed the designer’s burgeoning interest in traditional materials and woodworking techniques. As a result of the visit, Paulin received a watershed commissioned to create furniture for the Office of the President. Demisch Danant will present three chairs from the Mobilier National series, each of which features palmette marquetry detailing and caned seats. Most significantly, the Demisch Danant exhibition will include an extraordinary pair of rare lacquered armchairs designed for President Mitterand in 1984 and a signed example of the Élysee Bookcase designed for President George Pompidou in 1971. Both are likely the only examples outside the permanent collection of the Mobilier National.

Maria Pergay presented her first collection of stainless steel furniture in 1968 and is renowned as a pioneer of the material, one of the first postwar designers to adapt it for domestic furnishings and transform it into a sensual asset. At Maastricht, Demisch Danant will present Pergay’s seminal Flying Carpet Daybed (1968), the designer’s first entirely stainless steel work and still her most iconic. Additionally, a pair of lounge chairs from 1970 will be presented alongside recent Pergay creations. Among these are the Marquetry Desk (2005) in stainless steel with intricate marquetry detailing and references to the buckle and ribbon motifs that have been present throughout Pergay’s prolific career.

Finally, Demisch Danant is proud to present three works by Sheila Hicks, including the large-scale tapestry Le Palmier (1984-85). Following the traditional weaving techniques of the Aubusson workshops, Le Palmier is a delicate study of swaying palm fronds in a kaleidoscope of colors. Hicks’ mastery as a colorist, and her adeptness with composition, are evident in this monumental work. Based on a larger tapestry Hicks created for King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, examples from this edition are also in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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