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François-Joseph Graf, the Don Quixote of Taste

Published on , by Éric Jansen
The decorator was the talk of the town in Paris this September with his staging of the "Apotheosis of Genius" show at the Aveline gallery. We took this opportunity to talk to him about his career.
© Julio Piatti François-Joseph Graf, the Don Quixote of Taste

© Julio Piatti

On the "Apotheosis of Genius" show’s opening night at the Aveline gallery, guests couldn’t believe their eyes: the vast space, including the mezzanine, had been turned into a suite of rooms covered in panelling and cordovan leather. The warm, cosy setting enhanced Volker Wurster and Achim Neuse’s collection of over 200 pieces of furniture and objects made for the universal exhibitions from 1851 to 1910. This brilliant stylistic exercise put the tight-lipped, acid-tongued decorator back into the spotlight. How did this collaboration come about? I had already designed two stands for the Aveline gallery at the Paris Biennial, so they thought of me. I went to Bremen to see the pieces and was totally bowled over: for 30 years, Volker Wurster and Achim Neuse have collected great 19th-century neo-Renaissance objects, amazing furniture designed for universal exhibitions boasting the highest quality craftsmanship of…
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