Charlotte Perriand (French, 1903–1999)
Aluminum, pine, and walnut
49 x 99 7/8 x 17 7/8 in. (124.5 x 530.7 x 50.4 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Chow, 1987 (1987.461.2ab)
Charlotte Perriand is best known for the furniture she designed with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in the 1920s, but her later work was equally innovative and highly influential. She was a cofounder of the Union des Artistes Modernes in 1930, the year in which she began to exhibit designs under her own name. Following her association with Le Corbusier, Perriand worked with Jean Prouvé, experimenting with aluminum housing and furniture design. This aluminum and wood cabinet was designed for Perriand's personal apartment in Paris. It reflects her stylistic evolution from the precise, machinelike metal designs she worked on with Le Corbusier in the 1920s (which he termed "domestic equipment"), toward a less refined, more aggressively industrial vocabulary. This cabinet, with its massive, room-dominating size, is an example of her architectural furniturefurniture built like architecture.