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Pierre Chapo 1927 - 1987

Published 30 / 03 / 2022

The modernity of the lines and the respect for craft traditions define the work of Pierre Chapo relatively well. His vision nourished very early on by his artisan parents, a training in Architecture at the Beaux Arts in Paris, then a road trip in the United States, Pierre Chapo literally marked the history of craftsmanship and design in the 20th century. 

In 1958, Pierre Chapo and his wife Nicole opened the Galerie Chapo in Paris, thought of as a setting for Pierre's first creations, alongside other pieces such as lamps in  rice paper by Isamu Noguchi. The first Chapo furniture manufacturing workshop was born in Clamart, then moved to Gordes in the Luberon in 1966 where special orders and new creations were born.

Fascinated by apparent assemblies for their aesthetics and solidity, Pierre Chapo made them a trademark. In constant search for a balance between matter, form and function, he experiments with new ways of designing. In 1964, he filed a patent for the “48×72” assembly which would notably be executed on the S10 armchair and the S11 chair. This assembly corresponds to sections of wood of different sizes having the same thickness (48 x72mm) and the same ends. This technique makes it possible in particular to limit assemblies and to modulate interlockings in order to create structures and volumes at will. 

Visiting the Chapo gallery and workshop – still in operation – in Gordes last January, we contemplate a good number of his creations. In solid elm or oak, protected with a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine, these pieces strike us with their timelessness. We observe the functionality of the B19 desk, the precision of the beam base of the Sfax Table (T21) or the details of the “Chlacc” finger-jointed wood process of the SS45 chair. 

In total, more than 100 models were designed by Pierre Chapo between 1958 and 1987, testifying to his mastery of drawing and his modern vision of craftsmanship. Extremely popular with collectors and decorators, some original pieces of furniture will be auctioned on April 15, 2022 at Drouot Estimations at the Hôtel Drouot.

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To deepen your knowledge of Pierre Chapo and his entire work, we recommend this book published by Magen H Gallery and available in the OROS bookshop. here.

A big thank you to the Gordes team who took the time to introduce us to the Chapo universe with such precision and kindness. 

  • Photographer: Portrait Chapo Créations - Packshots Drouot Estimations - Atelier et galerie OROS