Pierre Guariche, Amsterdam chair in plywood, 1954
Pierre Guariche, attributed to.
“Amsterdam” chair or “Tonneau” chair composed by a steamed molded blue lacquered plywood hull with an oval hole on the bottom back. It stands on rectangular shape natural wood legs.
Work edited by Steiner from 1954. Model realized in the 1950’s/1960’s.
Traces of use on the hull due to use and time.
Dimensions : H 75 x W 49 x D 45 cm.
Référence : LS4293381
Pierre Guariche (1926-1995) was a French designer who made his studies in French Ecole Nationale supérieure des Arts decoratifs(* French National Superiori School of Decorative Arts) where he was graduated in 1949. He made an internship with the famous designer Marcel Gascoin and began his career in 1950 by creating his Rotaflex lamp. He edited his own models that he exhibited in differents Salons (Salon des Arts Ménagers, Salon des Artistes Décorateurs) and then was noticed by editors such as the Galerie MAI, Pierre Disderot or Steiner that edited his furniture.
Then, he associated with two other decorators, Michel Mortier and Joseph-André Motte,and founded with them the Atelier de Recherche Plastique “A.R.P.” (Plastic Research Workshop) in 1954 to create furniture series for the editor Charles Minvielle. They wanted to create practical furniture finding their place in small spaces. The A.R.P. ended in 1957 and Guariche took the direction of the furniture department of the Belgian society Meurop and explored interior architecture. He realized some development projects : the General Council and the Prefecture of Essonne, the winter station La Plagne, the Firminy hospital, the High Court of Créteil, etc. He received the René Gabriel Prize in 1965, rewarding a creator of qualitative and economical serial modern furniture. During his career, Guariche was essentially interested in series furniture, practical, simple, well proportionate, playing with different materials such as wood, metal or molded plastic.
His creations are actually reedited by Maison du Monde ans Sammode since 2018.
The « Amsterdam » chair or « Tonneau » chair by Pierre Guariche was created for Steiner in 1954. It is composed by a steamed curved lacquered wood hull with an oval hole on the back bottom. The seat stands on black lacquered tubular legs. There is also chair variations with wood legs, a bridge armchair with high arms and another version with a pivoting leg and a star shape base. This innovative chair was the first French seat in plywood produced in series. It answered to post-war goals : create low price serial furniture ; and also became a reference in French design.
Steiner is a French furniture editor who installed his workshop in 1926 and created furniture inspied by Art Deco and English styles. He was an exception in the very academic furniture design (copies of old styles) by drawing on modernity sources of the beginning of the 20th century. Charles Steiner was an avant-garde designer that search comfort in his seatings. Following his father, Hugues Steiner wanted to develop French furniture by his great innovation in conception and fabrication. He created modern and low price furniture by using new techniques such as steamed curved wood.
The after-war period were marked by functionality, clarity and simplicity. Steiner boosted creation with the Plastich Research Workshop that welcomed famous designers such as Pierre Guariche, Joseph-André Motte or René-Jean Caillette, spearheads of elegant and modern creations, using innovative materials such as molded plywood.
The 1970’s saw the television arrival in French homes that changed life habits and design. The « sitting room » became a « living room » were everything was comfortable and practical with quilted seatings, curved shapes and stackabke seats. Traditional shapes disappeared thanks to designers such as Kwok Hoi Chan : furniture were modular, shapes were poetic and colors revived interiors.
Still today Steiner contines to innovate by developing a complete range of furniture with lightings, rugs, tables, etc.
- P. FAVARDIN, Les décorateurs des années 50, Editions Norma, 2012
- P. KJELLBERG, Le Mobilier du XXe siècle. Dictionnaire des créateurs, Les Editions de l’Amateur, 2001, Tours, pp.285-286
- Steiner website, “L’histoire de Steiner”, URL = http://www.steiner-paris.com/content/1-l-histoire-de-steiner
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