(jiří macek) In the Paris city district of Saint Germain des Pres, there is probably the highest concentration of private design galleries in the world. In the area around the Rue de Seine, where Jousse Enterprise, Jasques Lacoste, or even the famous Downtown have their headquarters, you can find a number of smaller and larger areas providing space for mainly French design. One of the most famous newly created galleries is definitely the Perimeter Editions gallery.
This gallery is one of those that are trying to extricate from the stereotypical sale of design from the 1950s that is represented by such iconic names as Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, or Jean Royer. The gallery for Perimeter Editions (www.perimeter-editions.com) is located on the first floor of the Hotel Particulier on 47 rue Saint André des Arts in a beautiful space from the 17th century. The gallery exhibits only unique furniture editions destined for well-informed connoisseurs of design.
“The gallery’s philosophy is clear,” says its art director, Nicolas Chwat. “We want to link historical French design with the experimental works of talented contemporary designers.”
Although the gallery offers historical design, only pieces that were just prototyped or produced in very small series during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s are available. The gallery now tries to produce those pieces in new editions and offer them to a wider range of customers. Thus, the collection offers, for example, the Nenuphar tables that were designed by the decorator Janette Laverriére in 1960s but have never been produced. You can buy them at Perimeter and choose among different material modifications within the limited edition of 25 pieces.
Other remarkable furniture selections were designed by the French designers Francois Arnal, Mathieu Mategot, and the well known Pierr Paulin. In the gallery’s exposition, which I had the great pleasure to visit, these creative historical designs were exhibited together with a contemporary furniture production. In this way, the gallery intervenes into the contemporary French design scene. The library, which was designed by Adrien Gardner, is composed of a wooden board with holes in which compartments resembling stainless sinks are fitted. The vertical “kitchen unit” has a strong conceptual character and a sophisticated minimalist form.
Guillaume Badet’s limited edition of 8 pieces offers a kind of sitting landscape that resembles the creations by Zaha Hadid or Amanda Levett. The armchair, which is composed of rusted guns, makes a very authentic impression in the gallery’s space. The work of the Mozambique designer and artist Goncalo Mabuda brings new ideas into the European environment and makes us think about the problems of Africa. These problems are reflected very critically in the artist’s work.
Through its unconventional combination of historical and decorative applied art and contemporary conceptual design, the Perimeter Editions gallery has become representative of a new progressive stream in the field of gallery design presentation not only in Paris, but throughout the world.
Křesla a stolky, design: Mathieau Mategot