Standard Chair "Tout Bois" by Jean Prouvé

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About

Jean Prouvé's "Tout Bois" chair was an all-wood version of his famous steel "Standard Chair." Because the exigencies of world war made supplies of steel unobtainable in 1942, Prouvé redesigned the chair to use as little metal as possible (the eight screws which fasten the seat and back are the only parts not made of wood).

The switch from steel to wood gave Prouvé an opportunity to experiment with traditional furniture making methods that were paradoxically new to him, the Machine Age Pioneer. Lovely through-tenons conspicuously join the horizontal members (that support the seat) to the rear legs, and also the front cross-bar to the front legs. Though consistent with the modernist ethic of structural honesty, such labor intensive joinery links Prouvé to the craftsmen of an older era that of his father Victor Prouvé.

While made entirely of oak, this war-time iteration of the "Standard Chair" retains Jean Prouvé's signature rear legs that emphatically express the structural loads of the chair. Thus the distinctive profile, no less confidently architectural than the "pilotis" of a Le Corbusier building. Which may explain Le Corbusier's original choice of these chairs for use in his famous postwar Unité d'Habitation, in Marseilles. All of the early photographs of the interiors of this most influential of Le Corbusier buildings show Prouvé's "Tout Bois" chairs used exclusively in both the dining areas and the bedrooms.

Literature: Jean Prouvé Complete works, Volume 2: 1934-1944, Sulzer, ppg. 33, 294-295 Jean Prouvé, Galerie Patrick Seguin and Sonnabend Gallery, ppg. 234, 250-253 Jean Prouvé, Galeries Jousse Seguin and Galerie Enrico Navarra, ppg. 42-43.
Details
Creator
Jean Prouvé (Designer)
Of the Period
Modern
Place of Origin
France
Date of Manufacture
Late 1940s
Period
1940-1949
Materials and Techniques
Oak
Condition
Good
Wear
Wear consistent with age and use
Dimensions
32.5 in. H x 18 in. W x 19 in. D
83 cm H x 46 cm W x 48 cm D
Dealer Location
Los Angeles, CA
Number of Items
1
Reference Number
LU80912348102
Contact The Seller
1stdibs seller since 2005
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

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