Charlotte Perriand at the Louis Vuitton Foundation

Exhibition "Charlotte Perriand" At the Louis Vuitton Foundation

From 2 October 2019 to 24 February 2020


The exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Foundation celebrating Charlotte Perriand is a great first by its scope and its purpose. Certainly, Charlotte Perriand is recognized as one of the leading figures in the world of 20th century design, but the exhibition has the privilege of presenting Charlotte Perriand as a visionary woman, who embraces the 20th century and creates the key elements of both contemporary art of living as artistic and intellectual interactions of the society of the 20th century. She was an exceptional personality, a woman committed to leading a real evolution - not to say revolution - of the consideration and the look on the world and its cultural and artistic expressions which places her at the heart of a new order of things, d 'a new relationship between the arts themselves, architecture, painting, sculpture, etc., between the most differentiated cultures of the world, Asia (Japan, Vietnam, etc.), Latin America, Brazil; between the movements of society, the political order and the place of women, the relationship to rurality, the transition from a society inherited from the 19th century to the contemporary model of the 20th century marked by cataclysms such as totalitarianisms or the world wars followed by both physical and moral reconstructions.

Finally, Charlotte Perriand will be particularly visionary and will show a unique premonition for her consideration of the environment, with her amazed, inspired and sensitive eyes on nature and the place of man in front of her. Charlotte Perriand's awareness of the place of the individual in his environment aroused in her an ever vivacious and constructive dialogue with this nourishing nature that we find in all her engagements - intellectual as well as artistic - and in her vision of avant-garde of the "new workshop" of a world in motion, of a new art of living. As a person, she develops and thus takes an essential place in the way of life and the new spirit of our contemporary societies.

Presentation of the exhibition

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the disappearance of Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), la Louis Vuitton Foundation dedicates a large exhibition to him on the links between art, architecture and design. A pioneer of modernity, the architect and designer Charlotte Perriand is particularly known for her essential contribution to the field of design. The Foundation offers the visitor a journey through the XXst century in all of its galleries, alongside a woman committed to defining a new way of life.

The exhibition intends to trace the work of the architect of Charlotte Perriand, whose work anticipates the contemporary debates around women and the place of nature in our society. It offers the visitor the opportunity to step into the modern world, thanks to reconstructions, scientifically faithful, integrating works of art selected by Charlotte Perriand to embody his vision of the synthesis of the arts. Through this exhibition, the work of Charlotte Perriand invites us to rethink the role of art in our society It is the object of delectation and is also the spearhead of tomorrow's societal transformations.


The ground floor will be dedicated to the invention of a modernity oscillating between fascination for industry, political commitment and necessary return to nature. In the 1920 years, Charlotte Perriand imagines a "lifestyle" breaking with the codes of her time. Inspired by the world of cars, cinema and rethinking the role of women, she designs for her studio of Saint-Sulpice (1927) chromed steel furniture that is surprisingly modern, then studies a project called "Work & Sport" (1927) that illustrates his vision of the modern apartment. Associated with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, she draws in dialogue with them "icons" such as the "chaise longue" or the "armchair comfort" that take place in an ideal apartment, presented during the 1929 Autumn Salon.


Aware of the pitfall of a modernity dedicated to functionalism, it operates in the 1930 years a return to nature and is committed to a renewal of housing. She denounces "The great misery of Paris" in housing and offers with the House of the young man (1935) a space where light intertwines, works of art, found objects and modern furniture. The confrontation between his photographs of raw art and the drawings of Fernand Léger illustrates the strength of a nature in which Charlotte Perriand draws her inspiration, creating her first "free forms" with organic curves.


Invited to Japan in 1940 to guide the country's production in the field of applied arts, she presents an exhibition entitled "Selection-Tradition-Creation" (4 Gallery) which calls for rethinking the living space and the use of traditional materials, such as bamboo. It influences a generation of designers Japanese and draws on this culture new sources of inspiration. After the Liberation, she took part in the Reconstruction, calling on artists such as Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso or Alexandre Calder for his projects. In 1947, the magazine Elle the consecrated Minister of Reconstruction, in a hypothetical 1er women's ministry. The student rooms she draws for the House of Mexico (1952) and the House of Tunisia (1952) illustrate his reflection on the minimum space and the interweaving between furniture, architecture and art. This Reconstruction is of course physical but also metaphorical, with the ambition of offering men and women an indispensable renewal after the trauma of war. His window

unveiling a drawing by Picasso (Nelson's Family House, 1947), the selection of "useful forms" that she made during an exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts (1949-1950), as well as the open kitchen of the Marseilles housing unit are examples of this poetic function that Charlotte Perriand intends to offer.


The continuity between Art and Architecture is embodied in the exhibition "Proposal for a Synthesis of the Arts" which opens in Tokyo in 1955 (5 Gallery). Charlotte brings together her fellow travelers, Fernand Léger and Le Corbusier, but also Hans Hartung and Pierre Soulages, by designing a space that unites paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture and architecture, abolishing the boundaries of disciplines. His goal is to transform everyday life through the arts by creating a new relationship to the world, new social interactions, less compartmentalized and soliciting the senses. This utopian proposal is brought to Paris by the Steph Simon Gallery (6 Gallery) which diffuses the emblematic creations of the art of living of Charlotte Perriand. The residence she imagines in Rio (7 Gallery) illustrates the ability of this tireless creator to renew herself throughout her career, while always remaining true to her principles: to design useful forms, integrating avant-garde technologies as well as the know-how of different cultures.


The last level of the Foundation will present unknown aspects of the work of Charlotte Perriand, including her contribution to the world of museums and collectors (9 Gallery). The equipment of the Museum of Modern Art (1965), the apartment of the collector Maurice Jardot (1978) and the new design of the Louise Leiris gallery (1989) define spaces that invite dialogue between the visitor and the works. Charlotte Perriand is also a great "builder".

ARC ARCHITECTURE (8 Gallery and 10)

Reflecting on prefabrication as early as the 1930 years, she imagined with Pierre Jeanneret a "Barrel Refuge" (1938), all at once shelter and invitation to travel. This love of nature and mountains explains the strength and discretion of the architecture that Charlotte Perriand draws for Les Arcs ski resort in Savoie (1967-1989). Rivals ingenuity as to their inscription in the slope, its buildings offer their occupants places of rest, but also of contemplation, with spectacular framing of the alpine peaks (10 Gallery).

Finally the last gallery of the course (11 Gallery) will invite the visitor to a meditation on the place of nature and the importance of the dialogue of cultures, with the Tea House (1993), produced for UNESCO and interacting with works by Japanese artists, such as Sofu Teshigahara and Isao Domoto.

The scientific committee of the exhibition brings together five commissioners: Jacques Barsac, Sébastien Cherruet, Gladys Fabre, Sebastien Gokalp, Pernette Perriand; and Arthur Rüegg as scientific advisor for the re-enactments.