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Tongue Chair by Pierre Paulin for Artifort in Jack Lenor Larsen Fabric

$2,850
$3,60020% Off

About

Pierre Paulin (1927-2009) was initially trained as a ceramist and sculptor. But by enrolling in the Camondo School of Applied Arts in his native Paris, Paulin embarked on a remarkable career as a furniture designer. At this prestigious institution Paulin’s talents were soon noticed by two prominent teachers: Maxime Old and Marcel Gascoin. Especially through Gascoin, for whom he also worked for a while, Paulin got in touch with many leading people in the French design scene of the early 1950s. Paulin’s breakthrough came in 1953 when he presented his designs for Meubles TV and the French branch of Thonet. International attention came from Holland in particular, as the Dutch entrepreneur Abraham Polak acquired a license for one of Paulin’s chairs. Only few years later, in 1957 Paulin teamed up with Artifort, another Dutch company. The collaboration between Artifort and Paulin turned out to be long lasting and very fruitful. During the 1960s and 1970s Paulin designed a large number of models, many of them became (instant) classics. In 1972 Paulin was invited to furnish the private apartments of French president Pompidou. Over the years Paulin received many awards and his works are included in all major (design) museum collections. Together with designers like Verner Panton and Joe Colombo, Paulin managed to capture the spirit of the era in his highly sculptural designs. The (Nr. 582) Ribbon Chair and (Nr. 577) Tongue Chair are perhaps most emblematic for his work and the changing attitudes towards living environments in the 1960’s. As opposed to the Ribbon Chair, the Tongue Chair was available in Jack Lenor Larsen fabric only for a short time. So very few copies of this model with this striking expressionist, psychedelic upholstery pattern have survived. The chair offered is still in very good original condition as the fabric shows only minor signs of wear. Literature: - E. Verdenne and A-M. Fevre, Pierre Paulin (Paris 2001), p. 88 - Exhibition Catalogue Pierre Paulin: Le Design au Pouvoir (Galerie des Gobelins, Paris 2008), p. 11, 13. - Ch. and P. Fiell, 1000 Chairs (Cologne 1997), p. 446 - Exhibition Catalogue Design Since 1945 (Philadelphia Museum of Art 1983-84), p. 132.

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    Ships From: JM Haarlem, Netherlands
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About Pierre Paulin (Designer)

Pierre Paulin introduced a fresh breeze into French furniture design in the 1960s and ’70s, fostering a sleek new space-age aesthetic. Along with Olivier Mourgue, Paulin developed furnishings with flowing lines and almost surreal naturalistic forms. And his work became such a byword for chic, forward-looking design and emerging technologies that two French presidents commissioned him to create environments in the Élysée Palace in Paris.


Paulin was born in Paris to a family of artists and designers. He initially sought to become a ceramist and sculptor and was studying in the town of Vallauris near the Côte d'Azur — a center for pottery making, where Pablo Picasso spent his postwar summers crafting ceramics — but broke his hand in a fight. He enrolled at the École Camondo, the Paris interior design school. There, Paulin was strongly influenced by the work of Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Arne Jacobsen, as was reflected in his early creations for the manufacturer Thonet-France. It was at the Dutch firm Artifort, which he joined in 1958, where Paulin blossomed. In a few years, he produced several of his signature designs based on abstract organic shapes. These include the Butterfly chair (1963), which features a tubular steel frame and slung leather, and a group of striking seating pieces made with steel frames covered in polyurethane foam and tight jersey fabric: the Mushroom (1960), Ribbon (1966) and Tongue (1967) chairs.


In 1971, the Mobilier National — a department of France’s Ministry of Culture in charge of furnishing top-tier government offices and embassies — commissioned Paulin to redesign President Georges Pompidou’s private apartment in the Élysée Palace. In three years, Paulin transformed the staid rooms into futuristic environments with curved, fabric-clad walls and furnishings such as bookcases made from an arrangement of smoked-glass U shapes, flower-like pedestal chairs and pumpkin-esque loungers. Ten years later, the Mobilier National called on Paulin again, this time to furnish the private office of President François Mitterand. Paulin responded with an angular, postmodern take on neoclassical furniture, pieces that looked surprisingly at home in the paneled, Savonnerie-carpeted Louis XVI rooms. As those two Élysée Palace projects show, Paulin furniture works well both in a total decor or when used as a counterpoint to traditional pieces. You will see on these pages that Pierre Paulin’s creations have a unique personality: bright and playful yet sophisticated and suave. 


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