Design

Pierre Paulin, the furniture sculptor

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Preparatory drawings of stands or models of furniture, dating from 1952 for older ones.

Pierre Paulin Archives

Pierre Paulin is one of the greatest French designers, many of his creations in simple shapes - the armchairs "Ribbon", "Mushroom", "Globe" - have upset the art of living of the sixties and are now part of the collections of the greatest museums in the world.

Flawless model, untied, joyful presentation of many unknown drawings and unpublished projects, beautiful and meaningful photos ... and a text that is out of the ordinary, a real gift! Nadine Descendre was a friend of Pierre Paulin, she does not speak the language of wood. One feels the book nourished by their conversations over many years. She was also the first to tear him away from his Cevennes exile by offering him an exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nîmes, which she then directed in 1999. It's a pity that this book is deadlocked. a bibliography of books written about him. The author draws a sensitive portrait, intelligent, colored by the affection of an unconditional that tempers nevertheless by subtle intellectual or historical analyzes. A direct tone to try to explain at best this creator who did not cause the half-measure. Adulated or on the contrary misunderstood, even surprisingly execrated, we have always mixed man and his work.

Portrait of Pierre Paulin.

Pierre Paulin Archives

Nadine Descendre succeeds in unraveling misunderstandings and misunderstandings, accurately pinpointing her tactical errors, her lack of communication, but also emphasizing her irreplaceable, exceptional qualities that make Paulin a very unique designer and today. very popular, much more rigorous and contrarian than is usually thought.

Pierre Paulin, a design icon of the sixties

The younger generations are not mistaken, because of their excitement and the inspiration they draw from it. The design has evolved a lot since the fifties. After the war it was a vital necessity. Although in France the situation of "design" (a term that was used only in the sixties!) Was blurry and stammering since this country - kingdom of decorative arts - had never had a true culture of design, Paulin, like his confreres, made him an ideal, and was one of those who best transformed the art of living of the French. He knew how to realize pragmatically this dream of furniture with simple, ergonomic forms, in agreement with the needs and the materials of the time. He added a softness, a sensuality, a colorful joy that reflected with elegance and panache of the change of the environment.

Public order, carpets, sycamore furniture and fixtures for the hypostyle hall of the Economic and Social Council, Jena Palace, 1987.

Economic and Social Council, Jena Palace / Vincent Flouret

Pierre Paulin, supplier of the Élysée

His extreme rigor, his austere determination, never prevented him from remaining open and imaginative. Certainly, he was haughty, brittle, not very explanatory. Solitary, he condemned himself to remain solitary. But his work was neither bourgeois on the pretext that he also provided the elites and the Élysée, nor academic because he took the liberty to revisit past styles (unconscious postmodern), nor easy because he had style by petrol. Nadine Descendre takes great care to analyze all points of view, to put the misunderstandings in perspective while proving how much this "artist", who doubted, paid dearly for his desire for independence. How much it is considered today, with the necessary hindsight, as the one that caused a new wind to blow in France from the fifties to the eighties. Who says better ?

Pierre Paulin, The man and the work, by Nadine Descendre, photos of Benjamin Chelly, Albin Michel editions, 49 euros.

Coffee table "Rosace", designed for the Élysée's smoking room.

Pierre Paulin / Benjamin Chelly Archives

Drawing for the foyer of the artists of the House of the Radio, 1961.

Pierre Paulin Archives

Television set of L'Heure de Vérité, furnished in Pierre Paulin, in the eighties.

Pierre Paulin Archives / The Hour of Truth

Armchair "F050", 1959. The seat and back are molded wood covered with foam and latex and covered with fabric. Metal base.

Pierre Paulin / Benjamin Chelly Archives

Preparatory drawings of stands or models of furniture, dating from 1952 for older ones.

Pierre Paulin Archives

Preparatory table and buffet drawings.

Pierre Paulin Archives

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