Robert Mathieu #Part I

100 years / 100 lights

16/04/2021 - 26/06/2021

The year 2021 marked the tenth anniversary of the gallery’s installation on rue de Seine. For this occasion, Pascal Cuisinier presented his most important exhibition after 15 years of collecting: Robert Mathieu 100 years / 100 luminaires. This coincides with the centenary of the birth of this major creator of lighting fixtures of the French scene of the 1950s.

Robert Mathieu, the designer of more than 150 models of lighting fixtures is still little known, except by a few collectors, afficionados of the lighting fixtures of the period. Contrary to a traditional designer, Robert Mathieu did not only conceive his luminaries but he realized them, like an artist, in his workshop of the street of Charenton. Here, there was no publisher or distributor, but a production in dribs and drabs close to that of a work of art, sometimes less than 8 copies.

A lighting artist

What is remarkable about Robert Mathieu is, on the one hand, his creativity, for he probably invented more than one hundred and fifty completely different models, which is unique in France, but also the very high quality of execution of his pieces, which are still in perfect working order today. For example, he is the only known creator to have designed a scone and a ceiling lamp with a double pendulum that work like a Calder mobile and that were presented in these two exhibitions. However, these marvels were expensive and were rarely produced, some less than ten pieces, so they have become extremely rare for the most part.
Pascal Cuisinier has been collecting Robert Mathieu’s lighting fixtures for fifteen years and it has taken all this time to see the rarest and most exceptional ones come onto the market and amass more than a hundred of them, including about 80 different models! The gallery presented in the spring of 2021, the first part of the work of this creator from 1950 to 1955 and the second in the fall with his lights from 1955 to 1975, along with a catalog raisonné of lights listing all his known models.