Galerie Downtown - François Laffanour
Design Miami/ 2012

When François Laffanour opened Galerie Downtown on the rue de Seine in 1982, he showed the work of Jean Royère, Mathieu Matégot, Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson. He swiftly realized that the work of Le Corbusier, Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret also had to be recognized along with an in-depth examination of their careers. These fascinating figures thought and created as architects, designers, craftspeople and industrial manufacturers. At one time overlooked, their rediscovery is largely due to the patient but unflagging work of Laffanour, whose reputation has henceforth been associated with architects’ furniture. He managed to acquire the archives of the Steph Simon Gallery, which produced and sold the works of Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand between 1956 and 1974, and was an invaluable source of information. Just like the Steph Simon Gallery, Galerie Downtown exhibited Serge Mouille’s lights and Georges Jouve’s ceramics, which provide a powerful accompaniment to furniture. Keen to spread the word about creative figures he admires, Laffanour was the first person in France to show Charles and Ray Eames, Mathieu Matégot, George Nakashima, George Nelson, Isamu Nogushi, Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Jean Royère, A gesture, a thought, a creative sensibility, a certain poetry, a spirit of their time - all help to explain the choices made by Laffanour with regard to the works of Ettore Sottsass, George Nakashima, Takis and Choï, along with architect and designer Ron Arad, who has been represented by the gallery since 1994.