In the past few years, the creative conversation between Paris and London has been flourishing, and design galleries have become the central topic. With the unveiling of Parisian Galerie Kreo's London outpost last year and the UK-based Carpenters Workshop Gallery adding a Parisian space a few years earlier, there seems to be a healthy exchange of talent and business going on across the Channel. Modern art and design outpost Galerie Dutko opened its London doors earlier this month – and now it's been joined by Patrick Seguin’s Mayfair opening, perhaps the most anticipated new gallery on the scene.
Since 1989, Seguin has been a pioneer at bringing the works of Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and Jean Royère to a wider public, presenting and preserving an important design and architecture movement for over two decades. Its visionary design stance now comes to London, in a space designed by Leonardo Pelleriti, a London-based Italian architect who cut his teeth at Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners before co-founding Wimshurst Pelleriti earlier this year.
For his new gallery’s debut, Seguin presented two projects that give a significant introduction to his work, united under the 'Petites Machines D'Architecture' (or, 'Small Machines of Architecture') banner. Fresh from Design Miami/Basel, the '6x6 Demountable House' by Jean Prouvé is presented here through a series of sketches, photographs, models and a video illustrating its installation. Nearby, the French designer’s 'Temporary School of Villejuif' from 1956 is shown as part of the structure, as well as in a wealth of documents from the time. Smaller objects, such as a table used in the cafeteria and iconic Prouvé chairs, are also part of the display.
The presentation of both projects is a fitting way of introducing Seguin’s working methods to a London audience; his encyclopedic presentation of the background and painstaking documentation of their structural details form an important testament to a generation of designers and their contemporary legacy. Seguin calls this a ‘non-miss opportunity': ‘London has an extremely dynamic art scene with a large collector base,’ he says, ‘the British art market represents by itself 75 per cent of the European market.’ In its initial development stages, the London space will serve as a platform to display the development of his work on Prouvé’s architecture. ‘I am looking forward to reinforcing the bi-cultural nature of our gallery,’ he concludes, ‘and embracing the British gallery scene.’