Art market Magazine January 2017

 
DESIGN 
 
Pierre Charpin, seeker of forms 
 
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DESIGN

Pierre Charpin, seeker of forms

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is stand will be one of the focal points of the next edition of that major show in interior design, the Maison&Objet
exhibition (Paris). A regular at the event, Pierre Charpin has now – finally! – been acclaimed "Designer of the Year". A Holy Grail of a title, which loudly proclaims what people have been murmuring quietly for a while. Pierre Charpin is surely one of the subtlest representatives of French design. Having studied at art school in Bourges, he excels in drawing: a stage intrinsic to his creative process. Pencil in hand, he transforms his "thought flows" into seemingly silent objects. Solemn vases, enlivened with a clown's nose (Kreo gallery); an armchair cut up into colourful slices (“Slice”); an austere breadbasket (for Alessi) sporting kinetic effects – in short, creations you would like to live with, which are neither boring nor too invasive, and whose "friendly" presence becomes established over time. "I don't like arrogant objects," says the man who

has made simplicity a priority. It is not a question of saturating the eye, particularly with objects repeated in a single space. Even the functional side is not always obvious at first glance. When Mr Charpin uses technology, he likes it invisible, as with the PC Lamp, his latest creation produced by Wrong London and unveiled at Maison&Objet. Its articulated arm, unified by the colour, conceals a complex system of pistons and LEDs. An archetypal object from head to foot, it inspires all kinds of interpretations. Does it remind you of a high-perched heron, a drinking horse or a heliotrope? With Pierre Charpin, the elementary feeds the imagination.

Collector designs
Whether he creates unique pieces or limited editions through his Kreo gallery (Paris and London), or collaborates on industrial series with Alessi or Ligne Roset, Pierre Charpin remains a seeker of forms. You might push open the door of his gallery to find a table… but in a questing spirit, too. His loyal collectors (who can be counted on the fingers of one hand) include the Franco-Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaïa, an ardent admirer of the designer who never misses any of his exhibitions, and Marcel

Maison&Objet, from 20 to 24 January, Paris Nord Villepinte (hall 7). www.maison-objet.com

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"PC Lamp", desk lamp, 2016, Wrong London.
© Pierre Antoine

Art Market Magazine January 2017
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