Rare René Gabriel Art Deco Armchair in Beech
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René Gabriel, armchair, beech, fabric webbing, France, design ca. 1934
A frontrunner of French design, René Gabriel (1899-1950) started his career as an interior decorator during the interbellum in France. His extensive career is well documented, due to the discovery of thousands of drawings, kept at l’École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs where he taught his students. It ensures that nowadays we are able to understand the wide versatility in his designs and thoughts on furniture, architecture and interior. Gabriel was a designer with a very broad interest in creating everyday objects such as furniture, wallpaper, textile designs, architecture, illustration, and advertising.
Gabriel is known to be a socially concerned designer as well. He was a keen believer in creating great furniture that was to be accessible for everyone. He vowed that he would devote himself strictly to "the creation and distribution of furniture and equipment capable of bringing comfort and joy to those who are not privileged in fortune". It made sure he became very involved in the production process of his furniture and choices in joints and wood types. This chair represents his democratic ideas in optima forma. With this modest yet modern and clean design and his choice for solid beech, Gabriel design shows a rationalist and modern approach to furniture design. The chair, stripped of all unnecessary decoration clearly shows that Gabriel was an avant-garde and forward-thinking designer of the 1930s. The French decorative arts magazine 'Arts et Décoration' showed his designs in the December issue of 1934.
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