6 April 2023
6 April 2023
She worked on French elegance with great simplicity, mixing classicism and modernism with a certain radicalism. Her black-and-white palette, considered too austere, finally became a guarantee of sobriety and timelessness, two notions that she cultivated like no other in her projects. Andrée Putman democratised a new way of living indoors.
Decades later, emerging designers are still championing the Putmanian style: Laurent Taïeb, Marcante Testa, AP Design House and HALLEROED. Like her daughter Olivia Putman, who took over the studio in 2013, they continue Andrée Putman’s work through sober aesthetic codes, « poor » materials (steel, cement, wood), omnipresent light and the right balance between the chic and the bare. This is an opportunity to pay tribute to the Grande Dame of Design, who passed away ten years ago.
BLACK & WHITE
In 1978, Andrée Putman wanted to realise her « dream of disseminating » the fathers of modernist design (Eileen Gray, Robert Mallet Stevens, Pierre Chareau, René Herbst and Jean-Michel Franck) and founded her re-edition company, Écart. A global success, since in the 1980s, furniture that had been rejected fifty years earlier was praised by the general public all over the world.
On the occasion of the Hors les murs programme at the Villa Noailles, the CAB Foundation in Saint-Paul de Vence is devoting an exhibition for the first time to Andrée Putman and her work in rediscovering forgotten artists of the Modern Movement. On display there, in a scenography imagined by her daughter Olivia, are pieces by the pioneers of the first half of the 20th century that the Grande Dame of Design brought back to the forefront.
Andrée Putman used this furniture in almost all the commissions she received, from the Morgans Hotel in New York to the fittings for Karl Lagerfeld in Rome and the Pershing Hall Hotel in Paris. These pieces will coexist with her own creations designed for Poltrona Frau, Christofle, Gaïa & Gino or Écart International in self-publishing…
Another interior design gem attributed to Andrée Putman in the 1990s was the flat in the Hôtel d’Hallwyll, designed by the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux in the Marais district. At the beginning of the year, the decorator Marie-Anne Derville proposed a new interpretation of the décor, rethinking the place with eclecticism while preserving its Putmanian soul. Buoyed by this exceptional historical setting, she worked as a « ensemblière », combining pieces of furniture from different periods and in various styles: Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, Jean-Michel Frank, Bob Wilson, Touplas Philolaos, Süe et Mare, Paolo Palluco…
In some of its projects, the Italian studio Marcante-Testa seems to take up the radical classical codes of Andrée Putman. A simple, uncluttered elegance, but not aseptic, directs the interior of this Trieste flat with a touch of modernity. The detail that hits the nail on the head: the ball feet of the legendary bathtub that Andrée Putman designed for the Pershing Hall in Paris have been redesigned in a rectangular version.
Proof that Putman’s style knows no bounds, the Australian studio AP Design House uses a timeless purity that is undeniably reminiscent of the simple elegance and uncluttered chic signature of the Grande Dame of Design. Light, decompartmentalisation, noble materials (stainless steel, cement, glass), a neutral palette, and a mix of collectibles and travel souvenirs add up to the right balance between old and new.
Another international studio that uses Putmanian codes: HALLEROED. For the Totême clothing brand, the Stockholm-based interior design firm has re-appropriated the French designer’s visual language: the emblematic black border of her Crescent Moon sofa, squared-off lighted windows, spiral staircases, etc.
From HALLEROED’s residential projects to the bathrooms of the Beauregard hotel by Chloé Nègre, the checkerboard and black and white stripes – Andrée Putman’s trademark par excellence since the refurbishment of the Morgans hotel in New York in 1984 – are particularly present in the bathrooms. They can also be found in decoration: Aama Design is even inspired by them for its Stripi modular lamp, cc-tapis for its Damier carpet.