From the 14th of May until the 10th of June 2018 Morentz presents an online exclusive exhibition of works by architect, designer and craftsman Pierre Chapo. Chapo was above all purist woodworker whose works hold a striking opposition: they are as complex in their execution as they seem to be effortlessly simple in their aesthetic. The reason of this duality was that Chapo was a master in proportions, through which his pieces have a natural monumentality. The three principles that motivated Pierre Chapo were in his own words 'material, form, and function.' In a less abstract sense this firstly meant that he used solid wood, preferably elm, as his preferred material, a wood that gains a rich depth and patina over time. Secondly it meant that he measured his furniture by means of golden ratio and thirdly that he never stopped until he met all the needs of his clients. This overview by Morentz presents a wide and securely selected body of work by this Modern craftsman. It includes the characteristic ‘Chlacc’ Chair the ‘Sfax’ Table and the quintessential ‘Bibliothèque B17B’. His designs, that are finished to highest degree and are relentlessly researched in their construction principles, remain as powerful now as they were when they were first made.
Pierre Chapo (1927-1987) was born in a family of craftsmen in France. In 1947, he developed woodworking skills, learning from a Naval carpenter. Afterwards, he studied Architecture at Les Beaux-Arts in Paris, and he travelled across England, Scandinavia, Central America and the United States together with his wife Nicole Lormier. Through this trip Chapo gained a greater knowledge and understanding of traditional crafts. During these travels he also got inspired by the design works of the great Modernist architects such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, but also by local craftmanship where he discovered new techniques in woodwork. In 1951, he and Lormier were back in Paris and in 1957 set up Société Chapo, an architectural research consultancy and interior design firm. In 1958 they opened their famous gallery at 14 Boulevard de l'Hopital. During this time, Pierre Chapo made his first creations of his collection. In 1967 the family moved to Gordes where they opened a workshop where Chapo created a large body of his work. His work originated by means of special commissions that could later be adapted to universal designs.