Desk/ Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq, 1960/ Courtesy of Peter Blake Gallery

Peter Blake Gallery presents ‘A Return to Form | French Modern Design’ - A Survey Exhibition of Antoine Philippon & Jacqueline Lecoq

Among the most influential figures of twentieth-century French design, Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq pioneered functionalist design that embraced industrial materials while maintaining an undeniable commitment to artistic craftsmanship. The award-winning design and architecture duo mastered the ability to graft the industrialism of postwar design with the aestheticism otherwise left behind in early-twentiethcentury design.

Their seamless mixture of organic and inorganic materials sets up mesmerizing juxtapositions of contrasting surfaces. In their Pointe de Diamant series, textured, sensuous mahogany and rosewood are coupled with pressed plywood doors coated in ultra-cool white lacquer. Philippon and Lecoq’s acuity to geometry adds yet another dimension of spectacular dynamics. Rectilinear faces are divided into quadrants of converging triangles that gently sink inward. These sinking pyramids simultaneously complement and contradict the austerity of the functionalist designs. The structural poetry of these designs is further emphasized as the pieces seem to float elegantly on their chrome-plated steel legs. Philippon and Lecoq put this gravity-defying strategy on full display for the stunning glass and rosewood Desk (1960). Any severity expected of such strictly rectilinear works is offset by their full embrace of the materials in their sensitive and meticulous design.

Founded in 1993, Peter Blake Gallery is the longest-standing and leading exhibitor of West Coast Minimalism, with a focus on California Light and Space. The gallery’s program expanded to include collectible design in 2015, with the aim of merging the disciplines of art, architecture, and design. Known for its rigorously curated solo and group exhibitions, the gallery has an ongoing history of exhibiting artists long due for reappraisal. Over the last decade, the gallery has participated in prestigious art fairs including Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Collective Design, Dallas Art Fair, EXPO Chicago, Seattle Art Fair, and the Armory.