Perhaps best known for her numerous co-operations with Le Corbusier, the Parisian architect and designer Charlotte Perriand played an instrumental role in developing the European modern movement: Not least as Charlotte Perriand is credited with converting Le Corbusiers modern furniture ideas into reality and so establishing the tradition of minimal, bent chrome steel tube and leather furniture.
Among the most famous of these collaborations are the from Cassina produced LC4 Chaise Longue, LC2 Armchair and LC7 Swivel Chair which Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand originally created for their “Maison la Roche” in Paris.
Charlotte Perriand with Le Corbusier was however only one chapter in a life and career that also involved collaborations with Fernand Leger and Jean Prouvé and stations in Moscow, Japan, Vietnam and Brasil.
And it is her time in Brasil that is the subject of an exhibition at the Gewerbemuseum in Winterthur which opens on July 4th.
“Charlotte Perriand und ihre Spuren in Brasilien” is essentially devoted to a flat she designed and built in Rio de Janeiro during the early 1960s. The exhibition curators have rebuilt the flat and its interior in 1:2 scale in Winterthur and use it to explore Charlotte Perriand’s approach to her work and the design philosophies that guided her.
On July 16th the Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich opens its exhibition “Charlotte Perriand: Designer, Photographer, Activist”. With an extensive accompanying programme the Zürich exhibition focuses less on Charlotte Perriand’s architecture and more on her furniture design, photography and her social commitment and activism.
Together the two exhibitions offer a rare chance to learn more about the life and work of one of the few women who could establish themselves in the male dominated, and heavily patriarchal society that was inter-war France. Women in France didn’t get the vote until 1944 – by which point Charlotte Perriand, as well as the Paris based Eileen Gray, had already not only established themselves but also helped define the modern movement.
Charlotte Perriand und ihre Spuren in Brasilien runs at the Gewerbemuseum Winterthur from July 4th until August 22nd.
Charlotte Perriand Designer, Photographer, Activist runs at the Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich from July 16th until 24th October.
And the two museums are only 25 kms apart. So a nice days walk during a Swiss holiday.