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Charlotte Perriand

Paris 1903 - Paris 1999


The French designer Charlotte Perriand was born in Paris in 1903 and attended the École de l'Union centrale des Arts décoratifs from 1920 to 1925, where Maurice Dufrène was one of her teachers. Charlotte Perriand designed furniture made of anodized aluminium and chromium-plated steel, showing it at the 1927 "Salon d'Automne" in Paris.
After meeting Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand worked with him and Pierre Jeanneret until 1937. Charlotte Perriand had a paramount share in designing much of the furniture the collective produced during those years. The revolutionary tubular steel furnishings and system furniture designed by the three were presented as "Équipement de l'habitation" (home equipment) at the 1929 "Salon d'Automne", where they were widely acclaimed. These functional pieces include the "Basculant B301", an armchair with a chromium-plated tubular steel frame and a seat and back convered in calf hide. Other hits were the "Chaise longue B306" (later the "LC4" chaise longue) and the model "B302", an armchair featuring a round upholstered seat and a round upholstered back. In 1928 the three designed "Grand Confort B302" (later "LC3"), a comfortable armchair with thick upholstery.
In 1930 the Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM) was founded in Paris, a group that viewed itself as a countermovement challenging such establishment organizations as the "Salon d'Automne" and also advocated Art déco and Modernism. From 1931 Charlotte Perriand showed her own work solo there. In 1937 Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret collaborated on designing a mountain chalet of sheet aluminium, which they showed at the "Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne" and later they came up with plans for prefab houses made of aluminium.
In 1940 Charlotte Perriand became a design consultant to the Japanese Board of Trade. She lived in Japan until 1946 and from then on Charlotte Perriand's designs reveal overtones of the Japanese feeling for form, as shown by the 1953 chair "Synthèse des Arts". In the late 1970s Charlotte Perriand was in charge of issuing a new edition of Le Corbusier furniture for Cassina.


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Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
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