Atelier de Recherches Plastique / 1954-1957

20/10/2017 - 02/12/2017

Unique phenomenon on the landscape of French design of the 1950s, the A.R.P group (Atelier de Recherches Plastiques / Plastic research studio) gathering Pierre Guariche, Joseph-André Motte and Michel Mortier is receiving a tribute at the gallery Pascal Cuisinier. The exhibition is the occasion to present striking innovative pieces, ultra-modern furniture.

The Plastic Research Studio – A.R.P – is an association between three talented designers: Pierre Guariche, Joseph- André Motte and Michel Mortier. They all met during their experience at the agency A.R.H.E.C of Marcel Gascoin, at thesame time a meeting point place but above all a training place of the first French designers. If Pierre Guariche leavesthe agency in 1952 to open his own studio, Michel Mortier and Joseph-André Motte continue to work at the agency, and with the support of Marcel Gascoin, they decide to collaborate together. The two friends then share a booth at Salondes Arts Ménagers in February 1954 where they both presented their own creations. The event is a success, and PierreGuariche makes no mistake about it, by offering them right afterwards to associate themselves upon a «think tank». The principle of a collective signature is born. The status registered on October 1954, the trio quickly settles in the areaof the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, already preparing their participation to the contest of the Centre Technique du Bois(Technical center of wood) organized a year after at Salon des Arts Ménagers in 1955. Prizewinner of the contest, theyreceived the first prize for the living room and child bedroom, and the second prize for the parents one. Their collaborationreceives a great success and the year 1955 is considered in many respects as “the A.R.P year”. Their presence on the specialized shows brings them a great visibility and enables them to collaborate with the most specialized producers andmakers in the field: Steiner, Airborne, Disderot.

The trio also takes in charge the interior design of several places, including the offices of EDF in Compiegne in 1955,and the interior design of the apartment of Hugues Steiner in Neuilly. Apart from their interior architectural projects, it is inthe field of series furniture production they will endeavor to evolve by working with the best technical services providers, Airborne and Steiner for the seats, Minvielle and Cabanne for the furniture, Disderot for the lights. We owe them in particular a complete collection of seats with a standard seat and adaptable feet as well as the very first juxtaposemodular set also named “Minvielle element”.
Following the success received by this “think tank” group, each of them were solicited by personal project and theydecided to separate at the beginning of 1957. Joseph-André Motte was requested by his friend Henri Vicariot for the second interior design campaign of the Orly Airport. Michel Mortier inaugurated his own structure, as for Pierre Guariche,he was requested on interior design projects in Firminy.

Although of a short time period, the A.R.P group inaugurates a new type of collaboration under a working group of the same vision, common aesthetic and aiming to champion a democratic contemporary furniture, uncluttered and functional, adapted to the new post-war way of life. Most of the creations presented during the exhibition are to be considered for their attribution as designed by the common name of the A.R.P instead of attributed to one of them.

The gallery Pascal Cuisinier collects since almost ten years the most rare models from this association. Among the models of seats by Steiner and Airborne, also exhibited, some rare pieces such as the lamp E96, the lighting low table G35, as well as an innovative multifunction table, only exemplary known on the market.