German applied arts in Paris

German applied arts in Paris

  • Monsieur's room.

    RIEMERSCHMID Richard (1868 - 1957)

  • Madame's room.

    BREUER Marcel (1902 - 1981)

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Title: Monsieur's room.

Author : RIEMERSCHMID Richard (1868 - 1957)

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Technique and other indications: Photograph published in Modern Bauformen, 1910, n ° 9 and in Art and decoration, n ° 27, 1910

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Contact copyright: © All rights reserved

© All rights reserved

To close

Title: Madame's room.

Author : BREUER Marcel (1902 - 1981)

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: Photograph published in Art and decoration, 1930, no.56.

Storage location:

Contact copyright: © All rights reserved

© All rights reserved

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

Cultural hegemony as the guarantor of French identity

Following the Franco-Prussian conflict, France worries about its industrial, educational and academic skills, and believes that the Prussian victory is partly due to its superiority in these sectors. At the Grand Palais, the public will discover thirteen rooms furnished and decorated by German artists on the theme "The house of an art lover". It is based on industrial technical advances in order to give German manufactured products a leading position in the world market.

Image Analysis

German applied arts in Paris

At the Salon d'Automne in 1910, Richard Riemerschmid was responsible for the creation of Monsieur's bedroom. The walls are clad in very sober white woodwork, barely raised by moldings and a few small-format works that punctuate the surface. All the furniture matches this whiteness, so that the wardrobe, storage space, mirror, fit perfectly into the room. This harmony is reinforced by the way in which the elements of the furniture echo each other. Thus, the curve of the chair legs is reflected in the bedside tables and the small table near the sofa. The bed has an identical base to that of the sofa, dresser and mirror; the bedside table meets the rug in front of the sofa, and the bedspread matches the curtain. Four light lamps are organized around a ceiling decoration. The great simplification of the ornamental details, in favor of functionality and forms that organically link the material used, its construction and its function, are characteristic of the Werkbund whose sober, harmonious achievements banish the clutter of furniture and seek to create a unity in furnishings.
The functionality, the sobriety of the decor also characterize the room of Madame that Marcel Breuer presented in 1930 at the twentieth Salon of the Society of Decorative Artists. She fits into a three-room apartment for a Boarding-House-Hotel. A kitchenette and a bathroom separate it from the man's, the last room being an office. In this room, the white walls contrast with a wall painted in dark color, one third of which are fixed horizontal modular shelves. The shine of the tubular steel furniture stands out against the dark linoleum. The steel legs, the coffee table, the vase and the thick glass desk illustrate the use of industrial materials in the service of a functional interior design. This unit exudes great sobriety and elegance reinforced by simple shapes and space-saving layout. The fruit of his work in the mid-1920s, the works exhibited by Breuer attest to the importance of the Bauhaus both in the furniture industry and in thinking about modern housing.

Interpretation

Applied arts as an economic stake for France and Germany

These novelties proposed by the German applied art exhibitions in France give rise to very severe remarks. In 1910, the French critics recognized the qualities of organization and the enhancement of the decoration in the different rooms, but did not however appreciate the singularity of these works - they saw in them the expression of a national art of which it devalues ​​the characteristics. In 1930, she sought to remove all originality from German productions by claiming that they were only the Germanic translation of French ideas. Even the most positive commentators cannot help but establish a typology of the French spirit and the German spirit. We therefore find in the criticism of each of the exhibitions the same rhetoric that aims to belittle German production in the name of superior French taste. In fact, it reflects economic competition which, following each of the wars, has replaced military issues. Since the last third of the 19th century, both Germany and France have sought to create a new style far from historicism, each developing a new plastic vocabulary, but their production strategy differs. The Germans particularly encourage large-scale manufacturing and wider distribution to the public, through associations of artists, craftsmen and industrialists. The virulence of French criticism during these exhibitions is therefore not due to a simple disgust for German productions, but rather to the expression of a rivalry between the production systems of the applied arts and the fear of having to step aside. in a promising economic field.

  • Germany
  • germanophobia
  • Franco-German special issue
  • furniture

Bibliography

Sabine BENEKE, „Otto Grautoff, Frantz Jourdain und die Ausstellung Bayerisches Kunstgewerbe im„ Salon d’Automne "von 1910", inDistanz und Aneignung. Kunstbeziehungen zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich, Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 2004, S. 119-135.Wend FISCHER, "Between art and industry. The Deutsche Werkbund and the Design of Industrial Products ”, in Paris Berlin 1900-1933. Relationships and contrasts. Fance Germany, Ausstellungskatalog Paris, National Museum of Modern Art, Center Georges Pompidou, Gallimard, Paris, 1978, S. 318-324.Éric MICHAUD, "Introduction" and "Paris 1930: das Bauhaus in Frankreich. The Bauhaus in France ”, in Das Bauhaus und Frankreich. The Bauhaus and France 1919-1930, Isabelle EWIG, Thomas W. GAEHTGENS and Matthias NOELL (ed.), Berlin, Akademie Verlag, 2002, p. 3-13 and 255-346.Thomas W. GAEHTGENS, Friederike KITSCHEN and Mathilde ARNOUX (eds.), "A controversial model - German art industries in artistic debates", in Crossed Perspectives. The Franco-German Art Criticism 1870-1945, Paris, M.S.H., to be published in 2008.100 Jahre Deutscher Werkbund: 1907 - 2007, Exhibition catalog, Pinakothek der Moderne, München, 2007.

To cite this article

Mathilde ARNOUX, "German applied arts in Paris"


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