We celebrate the work of Charlotte Perriand, one of the most influential designers of the late 20th century, known for her all-encompassing approach to designing for “the art of living.” Our auctions have achieved more than $4.5 million in sales of Perriand's exquisite works, with an 80% sell-through rate.
Upcoming Lots Charlotte Perriand
Five Things to Know about Charlotte Perriand
Perriand first garnered attention in 1927 when she converted her apartment into a bar to showcase her designs in chrome and tubular steel. Of Bar Sous Le Toit (Bar in the Attic), a critic remarked: “One cannot imagine anything fresher or more youthful.”
In 1927 Perriand approached Le Corbusier to work for him and he famously replied “We don't embroider cushions in my studio.” Undeterred, she invited him to Bar Sous Le Toit and he was impressed. The two would go on to create numerous iconic pieces of 20th century design together, also working with Pierre Jeanneret.
Perriand worked with Jean Prouvé in 1937, when they teamed up to design military barracks, furnishings and temporary housing.
In 1940 Japan's Ministry for Trade and Industry invited Perriand to help bring Japanese design to a wider audience. She lived there for three years, and then spent three years in Vietnam; the materials, techniques and forms she encountered greatly shaped her later designs.
Her Les Arcs furniture series, which spanned over twenty years, was inspired by and named after the ski resort in Savoy she visited as a child. She also designed several ski resorts over the course of her career.
The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living—living in harmony with man's deepest drives and with his adopted and fabricated environment.
Auction Results Charlotte Perriand
What is the crucial element in domestic equipment? We can answer that immediately: storage. Without well-planned storage, it is impossible to find space in one’s home.
Charlotte Perriand 1903–1999
At the age of twenty-four Charlotte Perriand approached Le Corbusier and asked to join the designer’s famed studio. While studying at Paris’s École de l’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, Perriand read two of Le Corbusier’s most notable works, Ver une architecture and L’Art decorative d’aujourd’hui prompting her to distance herself from the Art Deco aesthetic and seek out a style more relevant to the machine-age. Le Corbusier famously turned her away, stating "we don’t embroider cushions here." Months later, after seeing her Bar sous le toi the Salon D’Automne exhibition in Paris, he apologized and hired her on. Perriand worked for him for ten years, collaborating with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret on numerous projects, most notably a set of tubular steel chairs that would become one of her most well-known designs.
In the 1930s, concerned with social issues, Perriand worked to create functional and affordable designs. Moving away from the machine-age aesthetic of glass and metal, Perriand began experimenting with natural materials. She traveled to Japan as an official advisor on industrial design to the Ministry for Trade and Industry and became enamored with the simplistic beauty of Japanese design. Perriand studied local woodworking and immersed herself in the functional yet refined forms. She revitalized her career upon returning to Europe in 1947, creating harmonious simplicity in her designs – what she called l’art d’habiter. She continued her collaboration with Le Corbusier on the Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles and worked with Fernand Leger and Jean Prouvé on various commissions. In 1985, her long career was celebrated with a retrospective at the Musée des Arts-Décoratifs in Paris and she remains one of the most influential designers of the 20th Century.
I’m for teamwork. I’m very interested in the life of houses. Everything is created from within, if you will – needs, gestures, a harmony, a euphoric arrangement, if possible, in relation to an environment...After all we are a part of the universe...there are no barriers.