Jean Nouvel will present Triptyques, his latest designs for a series of limited-edition mirrors at Gagosian London. Like many of his Modernist predecessors who worked across related disciplines, Nouvel describes himself as an architect who also makes design. His non-architectural products derive from his architectural commissions, or from alternative visions that correspond to his building design but which are linked to specific use. Regardless of the scale of the object or the architecture, Nouvel employs the same rigorous approach, imbuing the objects and accoutrements of everyday life with a lyricism that is striking and emotive yet austere and utilitarian.
As the title suggests, Triptyques are three-paneled colored mirrors, each in an edition of six. The central panel is fixed to the wall while flanking and cantilevered panels are engineered to be moveable. Four mirrors will be presented, each different in color and orientation. As Nouvel says, “The mirror is a piece that you want to live with, in which you reflect intimate images–images from your home; you can capture a piece of a window in it somewhere. Dense dark blues; dense dark greens.” The available colors range from dark orange and light orange, to blood orange to red, Nouvel’s signature color.
The mirror finds its essence whether open or closed. When opened these mirrors bring out the importance of color in their surroundings; when closed they preserve a certain austere elegance.
Jean Nouvel was born in Fumel in1945 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A key protagonist of intellectual debate in France regarding architecture, he was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l’Architecture. Nouvel’s buildings include Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris; Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, Switzerland; Torre Agbar, Barcelona; and Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. The Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Philharmonie de Paris at La Villette are among the projects currently in planning. Nouvel’s distinctions include the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Institut du Monde Arabe (1989); the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2001); the Wolf Prize in Arts (2005); and the Pritzker Prize (2008). Exhibitions of his work–including “Jean Nouvel,” a retrospective at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2001)–have been held throughout the world, from New York to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
In 1995 Nouvel created the Jean Nouvel Design Agency (JND), to develop design and interior architecture projects in parallel with the architectural practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Several series of furniture and industrial objects have been developed and commercialized, from the Less collection (Unifor), coffee service (Alessi), lighting (Artemide & Troll), partitioning systems (Methis), seating (Roset), and tables (Cassina & Molteni).
I want colored mirrors; they are the key to this story. Some are fixed, others shift, others are angled … sometimes two or three models are in different scales, their meaning is established by the interior. –Jean Nouvel
Nouvel recently collaborated with Gagosian in the design of a 1850 square meter gallery at Le Bourget, Paris, which opened in October 2012. He will also design a limited-edition mirrored shoe in collaboration with Ruco Line, Italy, to accompany the London exhibition.
Jean Nouvel Triptyques Wednesday, 16 April – Saturday, 31 May 2014