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Bookcase Freestanding Teak Ebonized Charlotte Perriand after

Bookcase Freestanding Teak Ebonized Charlotte Perriand after

circa 1970
210.00cm high (82.68 inches high)
194.00cm wide (76.38 inches wide)
27.00cm deep (10.63 inches deep)
Description / Expertise
After Charlotte Perriand, freestanding teak and ebonized bookcase on a plinth base. Measures: L 6ft 4.5" H 6ft 10.5.

Deeply inspired by Japanese architecture when she lived in Tokyo in 1940-1, this free-standing version of Perriand's cloud bookcases creates architectural structure within a space illustrating that “she designed spaces, not just the objects in them". Its language of modern design, and modularity, reflects Charlotte Perriand’s vision, which was never rigid or aseptic, combining functionality and aesthetics to fulfill the user’s requirements. Perriand saw the wealth of compositions available from the assembly of elements normalised on a human scale and standardised, typical of traditional Japanese architecture. “In Kyoto, in the Katsura imperial villa built in the XVII century”, Perriand herself recalls, “I noted some shelves arranged on the walls, in the form of a cloud. This is where my cloud shape (bookshelves) came from, with aluminium connecting elements. A freeform that gives rhythm to space and enhances the objects it supports”. These bookshelves, which give their name to the finished project developed later, carry the concept of free modularity to its extreme. They are asymmetrically silhouetted against the wall, leaving empty spaces for paintings, drawings or sculptures. Strongly graphic and functional, they give a unique character to the interiors.

This bookcase is a versatile, 6 heighted version of the design containing one open ended long shelf above two long boxed compartments with pairs of open-ended shelves interposed with an elegant plinth base below and supported by vertical aluminium ebonised poles which are an integral part of the design. This ergonomic design lends itself various design formats for objects and/or books. In original condition.

internal height 29cm on some and 30cm on others
length 45cm short shelves, 90 cm long shelves
depth 26.50cm

Charlotte Perriand 1903-1999. Perriand baptised her inventions in a deliberately provocative way “nouvelle quincaillerie”- that is new hardware, a set of elements that can be combined: metal supports, wooden shelves, metallic space blocks, sliding panels, trays, etc., which could be assembled together. “Starting from these elements,” she wrote, “I could freely create entire walls or reduced combinations, or even furniture.”

Charlotte Perriand burst onto the French design scene in her early 20s, seemingly undeterred by obstacles in an era when even the progressive Bauhaus school of design barred women from architecture and furniture design courses. She studied under Maurice Dufrêne at the École de l'Union Centrale des art Décoratifs, entering into a competition at the 1925 Expo des Arts Décoratifs by age 22 and gaining critical acclaim for her exhibition at the Salon d'Automne in 1927. On the heels of this success, that same year she joined the Paris design studio of Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. For ten years the three collaborated on "equipment for living," such as the iconic tubular steel B306 Chaise Longue (1928). After World War II, Perriand joined forces with Jean Prouvé to create modernist furniture that combined the precise lines of Prouvé's bent steel with the soft, round edges and warmth of natural wood.

Various models from the Nuage project were first edited by Galérie Steph Simon, the legendary Parisian gallery where many innovative pieces that gave rise to the birth of modern design were first exhibited. Today Cassina produces all of the models studied by Charlotte Perriand, unique pieces produced in the past, including both cupboards and bookshelves. An operation that highlights the culture of design, aimed at the authentic reconstruction of a new way of producing and thinking about furniture, working as always in close collaboration with Pernette Perriand-Barsac, Charlotte Perriand’s daughter and sole heir. Like many of Charlotte Perriand’s projects, the Nuage bookcases and sideboards are part of important design collections in Europe, USA and Japan.

On the twentieth anniversary of Perriand’s death, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, is gave her a major retrospective “Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World". It took four years and five curators to organize, featuring 200 of her own pieces (some of them collaborations) alongside works by Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso and other artists, in recognition of her many forays across the art-design divide. Léger, a friend and frequent breakfast companion, is represented by more than 50 contributions alone.
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