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Demisch Danant

Joseph-André Motte

Senior Civil Servant's Desk, 1967

Price Upon Request

Joseph-André Motte

Designer

Graduating valedictorian from the Ecole des Arts Appliqués in 1948, after studying under René Gabriel and Louis Sognot, he joined Marcel Gascoin's atelier in 1952. He was a member of Groupe IV working with Charron in 1953 ad ARP from 1954 to 1957. Motte contributed to Steiner's success by designing models such as the ""770"" series, big ""flower"" armchairs with zip covers, even before the invention of Jersey. He was one of the most articulate designers of his generation, certainly one of the most innovative and some say the best... From the mid-1950s, he was awarded the most fantastic projects of that time. He created the most emblematic designs for them and worked with Mobilier National from 1967. He began using stainless steel in the 1950s and further developed his designs with this material in the 1960s. In charge of the ENSAD conferences in 1959, he was Chairman of the SAD from 1966 to 1968.

Exhibited at DESIGN MIAMI.PARIS 2023 The Joseph-André Motte 'Senior Civil Servant's Desk', 1967 is considered to be the most beautiful desk made in France during the second half of the 20th century, and the crowning achievement of Joseph-André Motte. The Mobilier National was charged with furnishing the French Pavilion at the Montreal World Fair (Expo 67) in 1967. This Desk by Motte, which was still at prototype stage, was apparently shipped via Air with other important works for the Expo. Although we do not know where it was placed in the Pavilion, we do know that it was picked up by one of the Fair's Canadian organizers and never returned to France. Considering that it was at the 1967 Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in October, at which the Mobilier National was participating for the first time, that this range of “furniture for high-ranking officials” by Motte was presented to the public and that our desk was present at the opening of Expo 67 in April of the same year, we deduct that our model is most likely the very first prototype made by the ARC. The full range of this furniture designed by Motte – desk, coffee table, desk chair and visitor chairs – was installed the following year, 1968, in the office of the Prefect of Val d’Oise. This was without doubt the most ambitious and successful public commission of his prolific career. Materials: Stainless steel, Macassar ebony, leather.

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