The Galleria Carla Sozzani opened on Saturday April 5th “CHARLOTTE PERRIAND photographer and designer” curated by Jacques Barsac and Enrica Viganò in collaboration with the Museum Nicéphore Niépce and the Charlotte Perriand Archives. A selection of 55 photographs is on show together with Perriand’s vintage and modern designs, true icons of the 20th century edited by Cassina.
Architect, urban planner, designer, collaborator of Le Corbusier, ever solitary and tireless traveler, Charlotte Perriand, with a unique and unconventional wit, was a pivotal figure in design of the 20th century and influenced contemporary living in multiple ways. During the 1930s, parallel to her work as a designer, Charlotte Perriand took photographs in her travels throughout Europe, which then became a source of inspiration for her projects, interiors, and fine art works.
The subjects followed each other in a gesture of intuitive choice: she recorded, noted, embossed shapes (and ideas) that captured her attention. And in this way, the metal structure of a bridge, the plot of a fisherman's net, even a stone, became a source of inspiration for the creation of her tables, bookcases and armchairs.
The discovery of hundreds of negatives preserved by the Charlotte Perriand Archives became an opportunity to investigate her photographic work in an extensive and articulated way. This exhibition wishes to bring Perriand’s ouevre to the attention of a wider audience. Perriand's photographs are less known compared to her design work but played a relevant role in the development of her creative process.
Photography to which Perriand dedicated many years in her career worked as a laboratory for her visual and philosophical research, as well as the manifesto of her political commitment. A selection of fifty five photographs from the Museum Nicéphore Niépce and the Charlotte Perriand Archives will be presented at the Galleria Carla Sozzani, together with Perriand’s vintage and modern designs, true icons of the 20th century.
Her photographic research falls within the sphere of the avant-garde movement, when artists, architects and photographers were working side by side in an atmosphere of sharing and where each way of expression was enriched by the "view" of the other. With this spirit and through her friendship with Fernard Lèger and Pierre Jeanneret, Perriand began collecting and photographing objects she found in nature: bones, skeletons, roots, stones ... "Our backpacks - as she wrote - were filled with these treasures ... we christened them with the name of "Art Brut." Between 1933 and 1937, she continued her photographic experiments, with the series named "Art Brut" and "found objects", referring to the idea of a return to nature as original beauty, purity of lines and inner force of physical materials.
Charlotte Perriand never exhibited or published her photographic work during her life, with the exception of some photomontages made for a public commission. Her pictures, as a rare expression of her creativity, were partly revealed in the retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2005, then in "Modernism, Designing a New World, 1914-1939" at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London 2006, followed by the exhibition "Charlotte Perriand, de la photographie au design" at the Petit Palais in Paris in 2011. Lastly in 2012, "Charlotte Perriand, la photographie pour un autre monde" was shown at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saone, France.