Exhibition: “Paulin, Paulin, Paulin” at the Galerie Perrotin

Pierre Paulin is without doubt one of the greatest French designers of the 20th century. The Mushroom (1960), the Orange Slice (1960), the Ribbon (1966) or the Tongue (1967) are design icons known to all. Representative of the end of an era, of a society in the midst of a cultural and economic revival, Pierre Paulin ‘s chairs appeal as much as they seduce. They perfectly follow the shape of the human body thanks to an innovative research of curves and materials (elastic fabric and polyurethane foam) allowing a unique comfort. Paulin’s creations remain timeless!

The family company Paulin, Paulin, Paulin was founded in 2008 with the aim of promoting the designer’s work. It produces various limited series and original creations thanks to prototypes with the help of the best craftsmen and the expertise of Michel Chalard, a close collaborator of Pierre Paulin. The company also participates in the creation and organisation of events in tribute to the designer. It is in this context that the exhibition at the Galerie Perrotin was created.

GaleriePerrotinThe beautiful Parisian gallery in the 3rd arrondissement has been presenting the exhibition “Paulin, Paulin, Paulin” since 22 October and until 19 December 2015. Never-before-published creations produced in limited edition by the family business, in dialogue with remarkable contemporary works (César, John De Andrea, Tara Donovan, Bertrand Lavier, Laurent Grasso…).

When we arrive in the gallery’s pretty courtyard, we can only be impressed by the beauty of the place! As soon as the first door is opened, we are quickly immersed in the world of Pierre Paulin and contemporary artists.

The first room features the “Iéna” armchairs and the “Jardin à la française” carpet, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and the Mobilier National for the fitting out of the great hypostyle hall of the Palais Iéna in 1986. The geometrical patterns of the chairs refer to the coffered ceilings and are thus adapted to the imposing architecture of the Palais. The “Cathedral” table (published by Artcurial in 1981) is also considered a masterpiece as it combines curves inspired by Gothic architecture with the rigour of engineering.

Xavier Veilhan ‘s mobiles are inspired by different disciplines (architecture, design, music, cinema, etc.) and fit perfectly with the vintage armchairs. The oil paintings on the various walls are by Mike Bouchet. They present the paradoxes of modern life and confront the attractive life of the consumer society with the excesses and excesses that it engenders. His works are provocative and strong, and cannot leave anyone indifferent.

The young woman on the carpet is a particularly disturbing sculpture because of its degree of realism. John De Andrea, an American artist, creates these nude female figures using moulds from live models. He then works on the skin with polychromes in order to accurately reproduce the moles and scars.


Candida Höfer ‘s photograph (2005) shows the Grande Galerie of the Louvre Museum and Paulin’s “Borne” benches.


PierrePaulin-ensembleduneThe universe of the second piece is more minimalist. Pierre Paulin ‘s “Dune” (1970) occupies a large part of it, a way of emphasising the imposing character of this large wooden structure covered with foam and textile. Designed in 1970 and commissioned by Herman Miller for a residential programme, the aim of this creation is to combine several elements: it is thus possible to combine and disassemble them as we wish, according to our desires. The prototypes were first shown in 2014 by Paulin Paulin Paulin and Louis Vuitton during Design Miami. The sculpture by John De Andrea highlights the sensual curves of the set. The work on the left is by Venezuelan artist Jesus Rafael Soto, a leading figure in kinetic art. This painting plays on the superposition of several elements offering an optical vibration effect. The mosaic of mirrors called Group 5 (2010) is inspired by Islamic art but also by modern art. Monir Shahroudy Farfmanfarmaian plays on the abstraction of texture and surface, light and reflection, colour and form. An alliance between modern and traditional inspirations (nomadic tents and minarets).

The third piece presents “La Déclive ” (1966) by Pierre Paulin. This creation is made up of a series of wooden slats covered in foam, linked together by two aluminium spinal columns, which provide a real solid articulation while offering an illusion of weightlessness. Only two prototypes exist, one of which is in the collections of the Musée national d’art moderne. Both furniture and sculpture, this work by Pierre Paulin is particularly subjugating.


The “Tongue” armchair is placed on a piece of furniture and plays on the idea of cultural heritage and the status of ready-made. This work is by Betrand Lavier

and is entitled “Paulin/Planokind”.
The fourth and final piece is particularly beautiful and aesthetic thanks to its play on light and optical effects. Paulin ‘s “tapis siège” (1970) is in the centre. It was designed under the same conditions as the “Dune ” ensemble, as it meets the same expectations and objectives. The work on the right is by Laurent Grasso and is called Anechoic Wall (2015). Part of a series, it underlines the artist’s interest in acoustic materials and borrows different forms and materials such as copper. It captures and reflects sound but also light. The second work on display, “Silver-Fan” (1966/2014) byHeinz Mack, plays on the effects of light and shadow through three-dimensionality. It transforms and reflects its environment.


The two paintings “Drawing (Pins)” (2015) by Tara Donovan are particularly beautiful. Composed of thousands of nickel-plated steel rods embedded in foam board and arranged in gradations, they offer an optical effect and play on the reflection of light.


During the visit of this beautiful exhibition, we were able to discover unpublished pieces by Pierre Paulin in an original and unique environment! If you are passionate about design and vintage furniture and contemporary art, we strongly recommend you to visit the Galerie Perrotin

Galerie Perrotin
Free entrance
60 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris
01 42 16 79 79