Author: Ginevra Elkann
Publisher: Galerie Patrick Seguin
The esteemed collectors Laurence and Patrick Seguin first discovered the work of Jean Prouvé in the late 1980s, and were quick to embrace his entire aesthetic vision, from architectural design to furniture. "There is no difference between constructing a piece of furniture and constructing a building," Prouvé once famously said, and the Seguins have modeled their collection around his stance, becoming major advocates and disseminators of his work in France. This gorgeously produced volume, which presents the Seguins' Prouvé collection for the first time, consequently provides a comprehensive overview of their holdings. An entire chapter is devoted to Prouvé works at the Seguins' Paris residence. Other sections include an examination of Prouvé's relevance to contemporary art; a chapter on Prouvé's Aluminum Métropole House, a structure that exemplifies the brilliance of Prouvé's architectural work; and a survey of around 40 pieces, most of which are prototypes or rarities, from the armchair designed for the University of Nancy in 1932, to the light armchair created for the University of Antony in 1954, to the African furniture. These are supplemented by archival documents (sketches, models, photographs, etc. and detailed analysis. Also included is a wealth of photo-documentation of the exhibition this volume accompanies, held at the famous former Fiat building in Turin, Italy--once described by Le Corbusier as "one of the most impressive sights in industry" and recently rebuilt into a modern shopping/cultural complex by Renzo Piano, a longstanding admirer of Prouvé. Equally admired for his work in furniture, metalwork and architecture, Jean Prouvé (1901-1984) is one of the most influential designers of the early modern design movement. His innovative chairs, desks, lamps and shelves have long been collector's items.