WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE IN YOUR HOME?
Frank talks about his favorite piece of design in his Catskills' home, a beautiful "table à gorges" dining table by Charlotte Perriand. His light wash wood, the finess of the groove and overall design, and the large and welcoming surface makes it a special piece.
"TABLE À GORGES" DINING TABLE BY CHARLOTTE PERRIAND
The “Table à gorges” dining table was edited by Steph Simon in the 1950’s, nonetheless the origin of its design starts years ago, when Perriand started to included elliptical shaped feet in her table and desk creation (like in her 1938 desk for Jean Richard Bloch). The first model of table she created that included the “gorges”, two slender grooves on each side of the table top, was made in 1941 with a slate top table and cherry wood feet presented in Tokyo, Japan, in the Takashimaya department stores. Here, the base presented two cross-ties under the base, a detail omitted in the 1950’s model edited by Steph Simon. Edited then in different sizes (8, 10, or 12 people), Perriand also produced very rare commissioned models of the table between 3 & 3.6 meters long.
WISHLIST & Q&A
We asked Frank to select 5 pieces from our available collection that would be included in his wishlist. In a Q&A, we talked about his selection, his inspirations and the historical significance of the pieces.
Was it easy to select amongst the different pieces?
Yes it was fairly easy.
Do you think you choices were influenced by the current situation?
I don’t think my choices were influenced by it, no.
Can you tell us a little bit about each piece and why they made the cut?
Well as a whole, I picked these pieces because I think they could live well together in a room, and also because they are all architect pieces.
The sconce by Le Corbusier I chose first of all because I love white lamps. And I love the fact that this lamp would disappear on a wall, and yet if you look at it carefully it has a very sculptural feeling to it.
>> The "LCII" wall sconce was designed by Le Corbusier between 1949 and 1952, which were also used in Amhedabad, India for the Mills Owner Association's building. Originally manufactured by the company Guilux (Paris, France) - which manufactured multiple models of Le Corbusier's lighting productions - they were however produced in India for the Ahmedabad project. In a notebook, Le Corbusier wrote: “Honesty of the wealthy – the Sarabahy (sic) stole the Guilux models from Shodan, ditto Mills Owners ditto” (1). Guilux was going to supply these wall lights and other light fixtures for the buildings in Ahmedabad, but ultimately the lights that were installed were made in India, following plans drawn by Le Corbusier. A drawing dated 1954 entitled “Chandigarh lights, list of fixtures” shows the full set of different lights made by Guilux. Variants with different sizes, fixations and protections feature in the Guilux catalog.
What about the potence by Jean Prouvé?
F.M. : I like the fact that there is no electrical cable required to illuminate the center of a room. I’m not a fan of cords on the floor.
>> The first version of the Potence lamp was created in the 1940’s for Jean Prouvé’s own home. The uncovered light bulb is attached to a long steel swivel bar, held by a steel wire. This refined creation and functionality was quickly produced in different sizes, with an additional handle on larger models to facilitate the swivel movement. He later used the model in his project “La Maison Tropicale”, a tropical house designed as a solution to the shortage of housing and civic buildings in the French colonies of West Africa.
What struck you about the sideboard by Jean-Louis Chanéac?
F.M. : It makes you rethink the traditional square or rectangular shape of most standing furniture.
>> Painter of formation, architect Jean-Louis Chanéac adheres in 1965 to the International Group of Prospective Architecture (GIAP) founded in Paris by Michel Ragon. His manifesto “Insurrectional Architecture” was published in Brussels in 1968. Chanéac was awarded the Grand Prix International d’Urbanisme et d’Architecture in Cannes in 1969 and since 1971 he has participated in the organization “Habitat évolutif” with Pascal Häusermann and Antti Lovag. In 1976, he realized his own house in Aix-les-Bains; He was the author of numerous architectures in Haute-Savoie in the 1980s in a regionalist approach. The sideboard, as all pieces of furniture created by Chanéac, was conceived as a site specific piece for the Villa Genix, a project he was commissioned in the 1970's. The sideboard was used as welsh dresser/ bar in the dining room of the house.
You own multiple pieces by Charlotte Perriand in your collection, what attracted you to the bookshelf she designed with Pierre Jeanneret for “Equipement de la Maison”?
F.M. : That’s a piece that would probably look good against a wall or as a divider in the center of a room, and it feels like it would look good with or without objects on it. In that respect, it becomes very versatile and interesting to me.
>> The bookshelf was edited in the 1950's by Steph Simon, under the attribution of Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret for "Equipement de La Maison", nonetheless the first model of the piece was created by Charlotte Perriand in 1940 (she had started working on the series years before it got edited) and adapted by Pierre Jeanneret later in 1945. . Nonetheless, the piece, created either in ash or pine, is made of demountable wood planks and plots and is completely free of hardware, only made stable by the balance and proportions between each element.
Lastly, why did you pick the Library table by Pierre Jeanneret?
F.M. : I like the idea that it was designed for a library, because I enjoy reading books at a table and spreading out various books or magazines widely on it, especially when I have the luxury to eat alone.
>> The Library table was created between 1955-1956 by Pierre Jeanneret under Le Corbusier's direction for his project in Chandigrah, India. It was created as reading table for the library of Punjab University (Sector 14) and reading rooms in the Palace of the Assembly. Different sizes of the table were created depending of its position in the reading rooms. Another version of the table, with central partition and reading lamps, was later designed.
What qualities did you look for when the selecting the pieces?
F.M. : The functionality of them first of all, and the craftsmanship that is reflected in each of these pieces.
In your opinion, do you think eclecticism is important to realize a successful grouping?
F.M. : No, I don’t think so.
If you could keep one of these pieces for your current house, which one would it be? Why?
F.M. : The bookcase by Perriand and Jeanneret. I have a lot of books that need a place to go.
What / Who inspires you (inside or outside the design world)?
F.M. : I am always inspired by the concept that form should follow function.
First piece of design that impacted you?
F.M. : A table by Jean Prouvé.
Your design motto?
F.M. : Keep an open mind.
Frank Moore is a well established NYC-based collector, connoisseur of French design and particularly of mid century furniture and architecture.