Pierre Paulin, ‘Pair of Armchairs’, 1984, Demisch Danant
Pierre Paulin, ‘Pair of Armchairs’, 1984, Demisch Danant

Pierre Paulin was commissioned to design the furniture for the office of President François Mitterand at the Palais de l'Élysée in 1984, following the President's visit to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in September of 1983. On view was a score of furniture by Paulin that exhibited the designer's interest in 19th century references and traditional woodworking techniques.

The Mobilier national managed the commission and supervised the development of 11 models including a desk, console, coffee table, sofa, and several chairs. These designs displayed multifaceted contemporary forms as well as traditional materials and techniques such as caning, inlays and lacquered wood. Production began in August of 1984 and ended in the first half of 1985.

This pair of armchairs was made following the production of the 6 chairs of the same model commissioned by the state. These are likely the only examples of this model outside of the permanent collection of the Mobilier national.

Manufacturer: Manufactured by Ségransan for the Mobilier national.

Descendre, Nadine. Pierre Paulin: L'Homme et l'Oeuvre. Paris: Èditions Albin Michel. 185. Print.

Geel, Catherine et al. Pierre Paulin: Designer. Paris: Archibooks, 2008. 142. Print.

From the collection of Marc Lebailly, former partner of Pierre Paulin's design agency, ADSA and Partners. Lebailly was also the director of Ségransan, the manufacturer of some of Paulin's designs for special orders and for state commissions, including those created for President Francois Mitterand's office in 1984.

About Pierre Paulin

Mushrooms, oysters, tongues, and tulips are some of the iconic shapes French designer Pierre Paulin was best known for creating. Having trained under Parisian designer Marcel Gascion, Paulin was influenced by the Scandinavian aesthetic as well as American pre-fabricated designs by Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Knoll. Inspired to develop his own brand of accessible luxury, Paulin began designing and manufacturing seats made of molded wood lined with foam padding and fashioned with a stretch elastic jersey fabric for Thonet-France. Paulin’s forward-looking, innovative designs for affordable chairs, divans, and sofas in an array of bright and vivid colors, most notably Mushroom, Tongue flesh and Ribbon chair, among others, can be found in contemporary art and design collections around the world, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the National Centre for Art and Culture Georges Pompidou in Paris.

French, 1927-2009