« Prouvé's construction forms display an economy of materials and means. His aesthetic is an aesthetic of resistance, sometimes even exaggerated. Thus the lines force, the tension, and the point of equilibrium tend towards a dynamic aesthetic. Opposite from academicism, demonstrated by the refusal to accept "aestheticism" as a factor of beauty, his con- struction work reflects genuine industrial aesthetic, the result of an ongoing dialectic between the design and the material. Furniture can be used to simulate edifices. " A chair is made with four legs and a roof, it suffices to changes their dimen- sions", hence the parallel between the Compass base and the kickstand at the refreshment bar in Evian.
This symmetry between furniture and building is unique and induces a comprehensive approach. Actually, when Prouvé begins to think furniture, he thinks structure and therefore architecture, breaking down the frontier between furniture and building which gives him the opportunity to conceive portal houses, dismountable modules, marking the start of nomadism in architecture. Prouvé faced a fight because he questioned to modes of construction and conventionnal materials. His quest in architecture was to achieve the highest degree of economy in materials and means, pledging to meet the needs of the largest possible number of people. In the end, this collective dimension was the real driving force of his research.
As a dealer, his furniture almost instinctively appealed to me first, because they constitute the initial elements of an in- tegral approach. That is also why it was of special importance to organize an exhibition at scale 1 of his architectural elements, considering that each segment can be featured individually and has its own conceptual autonomy. »
Philippe Jousse, March 9, 1998
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Birth date : April 8, 1901
Birth place : Paris
Death date : March 23, 1984
2000 Jean Prouvé, La Biennale di Venezia, Edition Enrico Navarra & Galerie Jousse Seguin, 126p.
1998 Jean Prouvé, Edition Enrico Navarra & Galerie Jousse Seguin, 270 p