jean prouvé: industrial beauty
 
jean prouvé: industrial beauty jean prouvé: industrial beauty
sep 07, 2011

jean prouvé: industrial beauty

 

jean prouvé: industrial beauty ivorypress art + books, madrid official opening september 7th to november 12th, 2011 (above) detachable cabin arch. dep. meurthe-et-moselle, fonds des ateliers © SCE jean prouvé

 

 

 

‘industrial beauty’ is an exhibition which is dedicated to the french engineer, artisan and designer jean prouvé (1901-1984). curated by architect norman foster and professor of architecture projects luís fernández-galiano, this show revisits and provides a detailed overview of his career.

 

following a chronological layout of prouvé in ten sections, each one featuring original drawings and photographs accompanied by critical texts, the selection of works on view at ivorypress art + books mirrors the diversity of this multifaceted creator. alongside original drawings, the show includes a large number of pieces of furniture, scale models, fragments of buildings and even ‘6×6 house’, a prefab emergency housing for refugees from the second world war. the objects and documents on view, many for the first time in spain, come from the collections of centre georges pompidou (paris), he archives départementales de meurthe-et-moselle (nancy) and galerie patric seguin (seguin).

  design for citröen bus station, 1933 arch. dep. meurthe-et-moselle, fonds des ateliers © SCE jean prouvé

 

 

 

brought up in the artistic setting of the art nouveau school of nancy (of which his father, the painter victor prouvé, was a founding member), apprenticing in metalworking, jean prouvé defined himself as a ‘constructor’, and le corbusier — one of the many architects who worked with prouvé – called him the architect-engineer. his career was centred on a search to make the most off the techniques and materials available at any given time, especially in the field of metal. to this end, he employed a highly elaborate constructive and structural intuition underpinned by the praxis and creation of prototypes, which led him to conceive and fabricate with equal success everything from exquisite pieces of furniture (such as the cité or visiteur armchairs, true icons of 20th century design) to components for construction and even whole flat-packed, industrialized buildings.

recliner, 1928 arch. dep. meurthe-et-moselle, fonds des ateliers © SCE jean prouvé

 

 

 

among his most significant architectural works are such seminal examples as the maison du peuple in clichy (in conjunction with architects eugène beaudouin and marcel lods, and where prouvé designed one of the first ‘curtain walls’); the maison tropicale (aprefabricated house featuring ingenious insulation and ventilation systems, designed with his brother, the architect henri prouvé); his own home in nancy (built with pieces salvaged from the factory in maxéville, precisely during the years in which the company’sfinancial backer took over control); the pavilion for the centennial of aluminium (one of the few buildings for which he is wholly responsible,and completely dismountable); the pump room for the cachat spring in évian-les-bains (where he rehearsed the original structural system of‘crutches’ which he would later use in various schools); or the grenoble exhibition centre (together with his son, the architect claudeprouvé, and the engineer léon petroff, and where he developed a new, highly efficient lattice structural system).

 

a founding member of the union of modern artists, active in the french resistance, mayor of nancy (france), director of a factory self-run by over 300 workers in maxéville, teacher at the conservatoire national des arts et métier in paris, independent consultant… jean prouvé’s career is a prime example of engagement with the technological and social advances of his time.

design for the embassy of france, 1937 arch. dep. meurthe-et-moselle, fonds des ateliers © SCE jean prouvé

design for the pavilion of the flying club of roland garros buc., 1935 arch. dep. meurthe-et-moselle, fonds des ateliers © SCE jean prouvé detail of a panelled window facade, 1952 arch. dep. meurthe-et-moselle, fonds des ateliers © SCE jean prouvé kiosk design,1930 arch. dep. meurthe-et-moselle, fonds des ateliers © SCE jean prouvé

jean prouvé giving a lecture at the CNAM © fonds jean prouvé

tropical house in mondtada maxéville © fonds jean prouvé

protoype shell of a house located outside the domestic arts hall, 1951 © fonds jean prouvé

roof of mame printing press in tours, france built by jean prouvé © fonds jean prouvé

maison du peuple de clichy © fonds cardot-joly

house 6 x 6 image courtesy of galerie patrick seguin

 

granipoli table, 1939 image courtesy of galerie patrick seguin and ivory pres

 

lighted ramp sécurité sociale du mans, 1952 image courtesy of galerie patrick seguin and ivory press

 

pannel bouqueval, 1949 image courtesy of galerie patrick seguin and ivory press

 

(left): silla de madera desmontable, 1941 (right): sillón de dirrección nl. 352, 1951 image courtesy of galerie patrick seguin and ivory press

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