There are times when someone’s oeuvre transcends its material existence to become an entire ideology for generations to come. Such is the case of the work of Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), on view at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris while the Eiffel Tower celebrates its 130 years illuminating the city’s sky with its glints.
The exhibition ‘Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World’ is extraordinary in size and documentation. Besides presenting projects and objects designed by the architect, it recreates that ‘new world’ referred to in the title, inhabited as well by artists like Léger, Calder, and Picasso and architects and engineers like Le Corbusier, Sert, and Prouvé.
The exhibition takes up all the space within Gehry’s building, and Gehry himself writes the catalog’s foreword. The show begins on the first floor, where works from Perriand’s early years are displayed, to continue in the upper levels, interacting with the building’s open and closed spaces. Plans, paintings, sculptures, reconstructions of interiors or buildings – and also prototypes of the Maison au bord de la mer, strategically placed at the foot of the cascade – are mingled with furniture pieces, which lose their iconic air when put by their manufacturers at the disposal of visitors. The result is a scenography where the public participates in the mythical interiors, as in the Salon d’Automne of Paris in 1929, and one can recline on the rocking LC4 armchair, sink into the LC3 Poltrona, or sit on the LC1 Chair while enjoying the spaces and artworks around...[+]