27.09.2011

Jean Prouvé 1901-1984: Industrial Beauty

Foto: Gira/Barbara Heinz

Design for Citröen bus station, 1933, Arch. Dep. Meurthe-et-Moselle, Fonds des Ateliers © SCE Jean Prouvé

An exhibition on the lifework of French architect, engineer and designer Jean Prouvé, co-curated by  Norman Foster, is on display at Ivorypress Art+Books in Madrid, Spain.  Jean Prouvé (1901-1984) was not only an architect-engineer - as Le Corbusier called him -, but also, for example, a metal smith, active in the French Resistance, the Mayor of Nancy and the director of a factory self-run by over 300 workers in Maxéville.
Jean Prouvé giving a lecture at the CNAM © Fonds Jean Prouvé

During his long career he was interested to make the maximum use of techniques and materials available, especially in the field of metal. The exhibition, co-curated by the British architect Norman Foster, provides an overview of Prouvé’s work by following a chronological layout in ten sections, each one featuring original drawings, blueprints and photographs accompanied by critical texts.
Detachable cabin, Arch. Dep. Meurthe-et-Moselle, Fonds des Ateliers © SCE Jean Prouvé

The objects on display include a wide range of pieces of furniture, scale models and fragments of buildings. Remarkable is the installation of his 6 m x 6 m House, a 1:1 scale of his prefabricated emergency housing for refugees from the Second World War.
House 6 x 6, Jean Prouve. Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Patrick Seguin

Protoype shell of a house located outside the domestic arts hall, 1951 © Fonds Jean Prouvé

Tropical house in Mondtada-Maxéville © Fonds Jean Prouvé

Jean Prouvé designed generally by the praxis and creation of prototypes, which allowed him to conceptualize and fabricate designs of various scales - from high-end pieces of furniture to structural elements and even whole flat-packed, industrialized buildings.
Recliner, 1928, Arch. Dep. Meurthe-et-Moselle, Fonds des Ateliers © SCE Jean Prouvé

Granipoli table, 1939, Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Patrick Seguin and ivory press

Silla de madera desmontable, Jean Prouve, 1941. Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Patrick Seguin and ivory press

Jean Prouvé's interest in lightness and industrialization in architecture in the postwar years of greatest need among the population especially of Europe was driven by his engagement with technological and social advances of his time. The exhibition Jean Prouvé 1901-1984: Industrial Beauty will be on display until November 12 at the Ivorypress Art + Books in Madrid, a space designed by architect Norman Foster. More information: Ivorypress Art + Books C/ Comandante Zorita 48 28020 Madrid www.ivorypress.com
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