Pierre Jeanneret’s midcentury designs for Chandigarh get an LA audience
In 1947, Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret received a commission to design the Indian city of Chandigarh. Jeanneret worked closely with Le Corbusier while he laid out a utopian vision for the infrastructure and designed furniture pieces to match the new environment.
He primarily used wood from the forest-clearing necessitated by the building of the new city, founded upon India’s independence and named for the Indian goddess of power. Jeanneret’s pieces abetted Le Corbusier’s revolutionary designs for public and private buildings, set on a horizontal grid with wide streets and numerous green spaces.
Today, the 21st century appetite for Jeanerret’s Chandigarh pieces, now globally known, is robust, and the furniture has seen record auction prices. Since 2011, none of his furniture pieces have been allowed to leave the country without the approval of India’s Ministry of Culture and authorities.
Pierre Jeanneret expert and historian Jacques Dworczak searched for years to authenticate and collect many of the designs, and the results of his efforts have been collected in the new Catalogue Raisonné Du Mobilier: Jeanneret Chandigarh by Assouline, that details his wide travels and insights on these coveted designs. Beginning 2 May, the Los Angeles concept store Leclaireur will display a selection of his finds, offering a rare chance to experience these works en masse in person for LA denizens.
Dworczak, a naval artifacts specialist, has created a comprehensive look at the singular design moment, when French modernism met the natural materials of Northern India. Now on display at Leclairerur, the furnishings exude a relaxed, west coast sensibility. The shop’s three-story West Hollywood chateau also nods at Jeanneret, and the store’s, French roots. Founded in 1980, Leclaireur, L Paris, introduced once lesser-known designers such as Maison Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, and Comme des Garçons to a wider audience.
Among the Jeanneret designs on view are favourites such as the Committee armchair, rendered from bug-resistant Burma teak by local artisans in India, as well as the low-folding Fireside chair, the Kangaroo set of three, and the Committee table. The low-slung, subtly elegant shapes of the timeless designs feel right at home in LA. §