Mathieu Matégot exhibition at Jousse Entreprise, Paris

Mathieu Matégot exhibition
'Papillon', c.1950 Perforated métal
(Image credit: press)

Easily one of the earliest ambassadors of design art, Mathieu Matégot (opens in new tab) is in the spotlight once again at Jousse Entreprise (opens in new tab) in Paris.

The gallery, which deals in the furniture of Jean Prouvé (opens in new tab), Charlotte Perriand (opens in new tab) and Pierre Paulin, as well as more modern works from the likes of Olivier Mourgue (opens in new tab) and Rick Owens (opens in new tab), staged its first ode to the great Matégot back in 2003. It revisits its favoured subject with the addition of two exclusive pieces, the idiosyncratic Papillion chair and a bar originally made on special order, which both make their market debut this week.

Matégot was born in Hungary in 1910 and worked as a set designer for the National Theatre in Budapest (opens in new tab) before moving to France in 1931, where he lived till his death in 2001. His distinctive furniture style is interlinked with his deft hand with fabrics and tapestry - a medium he dabbled in early on and eventually favoured in his later career - that is particularly reflected in his treatment of metal.

Ranging from undulating bends and swelling curves to perforations of varying sizes, these manipulations imbue each work with a modern lightness and tactility, especially when combined.

There's no denying the modernity and value of Matégot's modus operandi. Not only did the designer employ a couture-like approach to working (each piece was intended as a one-off), he was also responsible for every element of production.

Running for the month of June, Jousse Entreprise's lovely ode to Mathieu Matégot is a rare chance to observe the mid-century icon's artistry up close. 

Mathieu Matégot exhibition 'Kyoto', 1954

'Kyoto', 1954
Perforated Metal

(Image credit: press)

Mathieu Matégot exhibition 'Osaka', 1954;

From left: 'Osaka', 1954; Lampe, 1958

(Image credit: press)

Mathieu Matégot exhibition 'Copacabana', 1954-55

'Copacabana', 1954-55
Perforated metal

(Image credit: press)

Mathieu Matégot exhibition 'Papillon', c.1950

'Papillon', c.1950
Perforated métal

(Image credit: press)

Mathieu Matégot exhibition 'Rigitulle', 1953

'Rigitulle', 1953
Perforated sheet and folded

(Image credit: press)


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Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.