Charlotte Perriand: Photography to interior design

Charlotte Perriand: Photography to interior design

There’s been many a show of modernist master Charlotte Perriand’s work but none that taps into her mind quite like the Petit Palais’ current offering in Paris. Focusing on the part photography played in the making of her work, it takes us right to the source of her designs, placing inspiration shots and realised products side by side.

From the fish bones that prompted her ’Banquette Tokyo’ to the reclining figure that inspired her ’Chaise Longue Basculante’, the photographs lay bare her creative process. Perriand began using photography for preliminary studies from the moment she joined the Le Corbusier/Pierre Jeanneret studio as furniture design associate in 1928, looking at the ’laws of nature’ in urban and mountain contexts, and many of the 380 photographs show objects discovered on her many walks.

’The most important thing to realise is that what drives the modern movement is a spirit of enquiry,’ she once said. ’It’s a process of analysis and not a style.’ The Petit Palais exhibition certainly shows an inquisitive mind - someone with a keen eye for the world around her. Perriand was also the first designer to use photography as an integral part of her furniture and interior design projects, as the show reveals.

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