Magen H Gallery is pleased to present the first retrospective of works by prominent craftsman Pierre Chapo (1927 - 1987). Coinciding with the architect’s 30th anniversary of passing, Magen H Gallery celebrates the oeuvre of Pierre Chapo on 2nd of November at our gallery space, 54 East 11th Street in New York City. The exhibition is accompanied by the first publication focused on the designs of Pierre Chapo.
Born in a family of artisans, Pierre Chapo studied architecture at l’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1952, he marries Nicole Lormier, his travel companion and alter ego. Together they embark on a journey that brings them across Central America, the United-States and Europe. While working as an assistant at a wood workshop in Phoenix, Arizona, Pierre Chapo improves his traditional craft techniques. His extensive travels lead to great admiration for the works of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van der Rohe and Charlotte Perriand, all contemporary architects whom also were dedicated to furniture design.
Upon his return to France in 1957, Pierre Chapo and his wife open a gallery on boulevard de l’Hôpital in Paris. During this time, he settles at the workshop of his father-in-law in Clamart and he realizes his first models - such as the L01 “Godot” bed commisioned by Samuel Beckett. Along his own creations the gallery displays furniture, decorative objects and lighting by artists as Serge Mouille, Isamu Noguchi, Charlotte Perriand ect, with whom he shared similar philosophies. In 1967, following the birth of his son Fidel, the family moves to Gordes, where he opens the “Chapo” workshop and will created a large ensemble of pieces.
Pierre Chapo designs are recognized for their simplicity, cabinet-making, joinery and quality. His work positions matter, form and function at the center of his practice. Widely influenced by his formation as an architect and pushed by his growing interest in noble woods, he crafted furniture designs anchored in tradition.
The retrospective includes a selection of tables, benches, chairs, desk realized by Pierre Chapo from 1960-1970, never exhibited before, with a focus on unique or commissioned pieces from private collections or the estate. Creating over 100 different models over the course of his carreer, Pierre Chapo has passed on the traditional practice of French cabinet-making and remains prominent to the history of 20th century design.