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Pierre Paulin Mushroom Ottoman for Artifort

$1,200

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Pierre Paulin mushroom ottoman for Artifort, France. Sold individually $1200.00 each.

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    Ships From: San Francisco, CA
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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. 


About the Seller
4.5 / 5
Located in San Francisco, CA
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Established in 2003
1stDibs seller since 2005
163 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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20th Century Specialists
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