From 1st May to 5th June 2014 at the l’elac Gallery in Renens, ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne presents “Pierre Charpin – la part du dessin”. The French designer exhibits some hundred drawings on various media (paper, tarpaulin...). The exhibition is complemented by a 160-page monograph published by JRP | Ringier and a special serigraphy made for the occasion.
“If you look closely at the essential purity of objects designed by Pierre Charpin, you will notice a form of discretion, or even frailty. This delicacy is characteristic of a presence that beckons to us rather than pose as a sign. This “poetic” trait in his work is contributed by drawing.
Indeed, for Pierre Charpin, drawing has never been just a step in the object production process. It is a practice in its own right which, on the one hand, singles out his signature and, on the other, reflects a relationship more innate to the form.
This is why in recent years the corpus of his work includes – along with sketches of objects finalised upon production – “drawings of drawings”. Produced in large formats, these aspire to no further reality than their own.
In series of four, of three or sometimes alone, these drawings provide the opportunity of a direct and immediate approach to the world of forms, in line with his artistic training. For it is first and foremost through drawing that a world emerges, appearing before us. Drawing acquires poetic power through the simple economy of its means – a pencil, a surface – and its desire to bring forth the form. Poiesis, in ancient Greek, tells of the creation of a world… by the power of the gods, by the hand of man.
Free from the constraints of production, without any other purpose than that imposed by their own momentum, the forms drawn by Pierre Charpin unfold in playful freedom. This is a search, a journey of hand and thought towards a form that is not yet clear, although he may perhaps glimpse it. By endless repetitions of the same gesture, by chromatic variations on the same line or the same point, this tension becomes a plastic strength, an inner dynamism which involves the viewer’s eye in the emergence of form.
This is where intimate and solitary pleasure turns into a silent and discreet invitation to read between the lines, and beyond the lines, before any shape occurs, the sheer spectacle of art in the making.” Text by Alessandra FanariExhibition «Pierre Charpin – La part du dessin»
from Wednesday to Friday, 1pm to 5pm
Monography «Pierre Charpin»
Collection: Monographs & Artists’ Book, edited by Lionel Bovier, Clément Dirié
Text: Pierre Charpin, Alessandra Fanari, Françoise Guichon, Marco Romanelli
Graphic Design Gavillet & Rust
Edition English/French, Hardcover, 265 × 200 mm, 160 pages, 2014
CHF 50 / EUR 40 / £ 31 / US 55
5 av. du Temple
+41 (0)21 316 99 33
Biography PIerre Charpin
Pierre Charpin was born in 1962 at Saint-Mandé (near Paris) and graduated from the Beaux-Arts de Bourges in 1984. Since the early 1990s he has devoted himself to designing furniture and objects. He lives and works at Ivry-sur-Seine, near Paris.
His practice develops centered on experimental projects – in particular ones conducted with the Centre international de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques (CIRVA) from 1998 to 2001 or the Centre de recherche sur les arts du feu et de la terre (CRAFT) between 2003 and 2005 – and in the course of his collaborations with renowned manufacturers such as Alessi, Cristallerie de Saint-Louis, Ligne Roset, Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Montina, Pamar, Tectona, Venini, The Wrong Shop, and Zanotta Edizioni.
In 2004 Pierre Charpin was the winner of the international competition for the design of the Eau de Paris carafe, produced in a run of 10,000. He also acts as scenographer for his own exhibitions (at the MUDAC and Grand-Hornu Images) and for themed exhibitions such as Les Sixties mode d’emploi (Musée de la Mode et du textile, Paris), Mobiboom (Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris) and Quali Cose Siamo, the third Design Museum Triennial (Milan), organized in 2010 by Alessandro Mendini.
Since 2005, after a first solo exhibition of his work in 1999, the Galerie kreo (Paris) has the exclusive right to produce limited editions of his pieces, presented at solo exhibitions: Platform in 2006, All’aperto in 2008, 8 1/2 in 2009 and Ignotus Nomen in 2011. Among his solo exhibitions, the following may also be mentioned: in 1998, Una mostra di mobili, Post Design Gallery (Milan) ; in 2001, Torno subito, Galerie des Curiosités, Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris) ; in 2002, Stands, Design Gallery Milano (Milan) ; in 2005, Oggetti lenti, Design Gallery Milano, and Pierre Charpin 2005 at the Grand-Hornu Images (Mons) ; in 2009, Entre les vases, Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains (MUDAC, Lausanne) ; in 2011, Pierre Charpin au Grand-Hornu, vingt années de travail, Grand-Hornu Images.
In parallel with his work as a designer, from 1998 to 2008 he taught design at the École supérieure d’Art et de Design in Reims, and since 2006 he has been teaching in the Industrial Design Department of the ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne.
Drawing: Pierre Charpin, « Singe », 2012
Exhibition view. Photo ECAL/Axel Crettenand