Spotlight on Hoffmann

On 22 February 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

André Lurçat, Max Ingrand, Gilbert Poillerat and others successfully showcased the modernity of 20th-century decorative arts.

Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956), two-door cabinet, 1911-1912, black wood, mother-of-pearl, made by the cabinetmaker Jakob Soulek, 91 x 66 x 116 cm (approx. 35.8 x 26 x 45.7 in).
Result: €121,600

Ader’s first 20th-century decorative arts auction of the year obtained the splendid result of €1,744,357. The items were presented in chronological order, meaning that Josef Hoffmann's blackened wooden cabinet, featured on the cover of La Gazette, was first onstage: it fetched €121,600. It had attracted attention with its seemingly timeless black look. Borrowing from the vocabulary of plants, Hoffmann created a sober-lined bas-relief baroque sculpture.

The cabinet was certainly on display at the Spring Austrian Decorative Arts Exhibition in 1912. A photograph of the stand shows a six-door cabinet based on exactly the same model. Much later in the century, a 1962 tapestry (195.5 x 394 cm, 76.2 x 155.6 in) woven by Tabard Frères & Sœurs in Aubusson, based on a cartoon by Fernand Léger (1881-1955), sold for €128,000.

Next came some wall lamps from the Maison de la Radio, the French public radio and television headquarters that opened in Paris in 1963. They were sold in partnership with Ader Entreprises & Patrimoine. Fourteen lots fetched between €36,000 and €48,640 (for the pair depicted below); the total result was €421,760. Max Ingrand (1908-1969) designed ten pairs and Gilbert Poillerat (1902-1988) four others. In around 1961-1963, they were installed in the music room of the round building fitted out by Jean Niermans. Poillerat's pieces are monumental to say the least: 220 cm (86.61 in) high!

André Lurçat (1894-1970) was another modern artist. His brother was tapestry designer Jean, for whom he built the studio at the Villa Seurat. André was an architect who believed in the progressive idea of art for all. In 1947 he designed a house in Sceaux as well as its furniture, including a desk in green lacquered wood and white mastic with an upside-down "U" structure (75 x 124 x 70 cm, 29.52 x 48.81 x 27.55 in), preempted by the Centre Pompidou for €16,000.

Max Ingrand (1908-1969), pair of recessed wall lights, model 10.021, version with seven glass plaques, created in around 1960, edited by M

Max Ingrand (1908-1969), pair of recessed wall lights, model 10.021, version with seven glass plaques, created in around 1960, edited by Max Ingrand, 100 x 23.5 x 17 cm (39.37 x 9.25 x 6.69 in).
Result: €48,640

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