Mathieu Matégot exhibition at Jousse Entreprise, Paris
The gallery, which deals in the furniture of Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Paulin, as well as more modern works from the likes of Olivier Mourgue and Rick Owens, 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It revisits its favoured subject with the addition of two exclusive pieces, the idiosyncratic Papillion chair and a bar originally made on special order, which both make their market debut this week.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 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.