René-Jean Caillette
French, 1919-2004
Selected exhibitions
The Way of the Essential,
Demisch Danant
René-Jean Caillette,
Galerie Pascal Cuisinier
René-Jean Caillette,
Demisch Danant

Rene-Jean Caillette’s Diamond chair (1958) is an icon of French modernism. Made of pressure-formed plywood, it won the gold medal at the Brussels 1958 international EXPO, and is indicative of the designer’s austere and refined style. He collaborated with Alain Richard, Genevieve Dangles, and Joseph Andre Motte as Group 4, leading voices in design during France’s post-war reconstruction. Together, they worked to bring design to all people, using simple forms made of affordable materials like plastic, rattan, and Formica. But wood in particular was important for Caillette. "I am the son of a cabinetmaker,” he said. “And I still remember the smell of wood shavings in the workshop of my father."