Important Design /09 June 2011


Jean Prouvé

Standard chair, no. 305
Ateliers Jean Prouvé
France, 1950
enameled steel, beech plywood, aluminum, rubber
16½ w x 18 d x 32 h in (42 x 46 x 81 cm)

literature: Jean Prouvé Complete Works, Volume 3: 1944-1954, Sulzer, ppg. 35, 208-209 Jean Prouvé, Galerie Patrick Seguin and Sonnabend Gallery, ppg. 266-269

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $6,875

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Jean Prouvé 1901–1984

Jean Prouvé was born in Nancy, France, in 1901. Prouvé‘s father Victor founded the École de Nancy, an Art Nouveau school that focused on hand-made objects. Apprenticing with an ironsmith as a teenager, Prouvé learned the value of simple forms and the importance of correct metalworking techniques. Starting his studio “Ateliers Jean Prouvé” in 1923, Prouvé, created restrained metal objects that rejected excess decoration. Within his workshop, Prouvé favored industrial materials like sheet steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Engineers employed these materials in the emerging aircraft industry, and these materials inspired Prouvé to design airplane-reminiscent pre-fabricated houses with Le Corbusier in 1923. Working with both with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, Prouvé created breathtaking furniture that forged the process of prefabrication. Prouvé tirelessly focused on finding creative and useful solutions to design problems throughout his career, crafting everything from aluminum vacation homes to university bookcases, living by his words that one should “never design anything that cannot be made.”

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