Paris presents Daniel Lebard's collection on November the 3rd. Gathered with passion and erudition, composed of more than 300 lots for an overall estimate of between 13 and 19 million euros. This collection is the fruit of forty years of passion and research and will be one of the highlights of the autumn.
Initiated at the birth of the specific market in the 1950s, this collection has remained very private and today offers us a historical perspective on the evolution of 20th century design: more precisely, from the birth of the Mouvement Moderne in the 20s and 30s to the French 50s, which constitute its core.
The discovery of Jean Prouvé's work, his deep admiration for the man, his work, his political and social commitment will be the foundation for Daniel Lebards future choices and naturally introduce him to the work of other major personalities of the U.A.M. : Pierre Chareau, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier.
All of them carry the ideal of a modern living environment for a modern man, whether in terms of architecture, design or urbanism. Gradually, Daniel Lebard will add to the creations of these tutelary figures those of other emblematic creators of the time, such as Jean Royère, Serge Mouille, Mathieu Matégot or Georges Jouve, also opening up to the reference designers of the following decades: Pierre Paulin, Roger Tallon, Atelier A, André Borderie... all of whom illustrate the best of the 60s and 70s.
Pierre Chareau, soon to be presented at Christie's with the sale of the Annie and Jean Dalsace collections on October 7, is represented here by a few signature creations combining wood and metal, including a very rare MU 1030 bookcase (300,000-500,000), circa 1930.
Among Jean Prouvé's many iconic creations are a rare example of the Trapèze table, whose pure design and black colouring appears as an abstraction of Prouvé's work (600,000-800,000); his famous Présidence desk (250,000-300,000); two seats that exist in very small numbers: a Kangourou chair (estimate 200,000-300,000) and a very rare folding chair (200,000-300,000), one of which is in the collection of the Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-Rhein, or the exceptional cabinet made entirely of sheet metal embossed with a diamond point (ill. 300,000-400,000)
The collection also includes several examples of Charlotte Perriand's long collaboration with Jean Prouvé, including the top lot of the sale, an illuminated bookcase table (800,000 - 1,200,000) for the Maison de la Médecine, circa 1951, one of only two examples of the long version of the model ever made, as well as her famous bookcases Mexique et Tunisie, 1952 (100,000-150,000 and 120,000-180,000) created for the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris.
Charlotte Perriand also created pieces specifically for private clients, such as Bruno Coquatrix, then a music producer and owner of the Olympia, for whom she created a rare sofa with cushions upholstered in Simone Prouvé fabric, or Georges Monnet, former Minister of Agriculture, for whom she designed a pair of small desks (estimate 30,000-50,000), as well as a divider shelf (estimate 40,000-60,000), of which there is no known other example. A rare 'Nuage' wall bookcase with a desk and a small freestanding shelf completes the fine selection of his designs (estimate 60,000-80,000).
An exceptional and impressive six-armed wall lamp by Serge Mouille, from the artist's personal collection, is the highlight of the work of this key lighting designer of the 1950s and 1960s (estimate 200,000 -300,000), alongside a large version of his quadrangular aluminium 'Totem' (estimate 50,000-70,000).
Jean Royère, one of the favourites of this particular market, has a place of honour here with his iconic 'Boule' sofa, also known as 'Ours Polaire' (estimate 300,000-500,000), accompanied by his pair of armchairs, all upholstered in their original raspberry red fabric (estimate 300,000-500,000). The design, conceived in the late 1940s, responds to the biomorphic research of the time and the desire for lightness attributed to the post-war period.
For Daniel Lebard, building up his collection will be a tool for reflection, questioning and understanding his own era, its political, societal and cultural issues. This questioning will be one of the essential driving forces, which he will share with certain market players, without whom he would not have been able to assemble it as such, and without experiencing the same intense pleasure. The setting up of this collection was coupled with an equally stimulating human adventure, in a close relationship with a number of precursor dealers in the same way as the creators they were able to rediscover, defend and promote in a period when their aesthetic was still largely misunderstood.
"One of my joys in building up my collection was the appreciation, and then the friendship that was built up with some exceptional gallery owners who, by saving these masterpieces, were to give the Modern Movement its titles of glory. I am grateful for their trust and friendship and I salute them as they have appeared to me for more than thirty years: Denis Doria, Philippe Jousse, François Laffanour, Jacques Lacoste, Patrick Seguin, Renos Xippas, visionaries as history has shown. -- Daniel Lebard
Although design occupies a key place in Daniel Lebard's collection, it has also opened up to the work of visual artists and photographers whose choices are based on the same approach: the desire to understand the world around him, and to question the evolution of his era in a dynamic dialogue with the design pieces with which these works are mixed. Paintings, sculptures and installations question the place of man in his environment and his relationship to the world, taking a critical-poetic look at the society in which they evolve, as witnessed by the work of Arte Povera artists Pier Paolo Calzolari and Janis Kounellis, among others, the photographs of the leading artists of the Düsseldorf School, Bernd and Hilla Becher, which show the transformation and desertification of the industrial world, or those of their pupil Andreas Gursky, who portrayed the financialisation of the world, with an economy of means that echoes the preoccupations of Modernity in the first half of the 20th century.
"Like the creators of cities, buildings and furniture, the visual artists who are in a way the distorting mirrors stabilise my collection. They all express the era with works that resonate with those of the demiurges of urbanism." -- Daniel Lebard
The work of Takis occupies a special place in the collection of Daniel Lebard, who was one of the first major collectors of the artist, having assembled a very fine group of works illustrating the artist's career. A few pieces from this group are presented here, including two emblematic 'Signaux lumineux' (estimate 20,000-30,000 each).The importance of his work was on display at Tate Modern in London in 2019 in the year of his passing. In parallel to the exhibition, a tribute exhibition to the artist will also be held in the new premises, showing the rest of the collection of Takis' works assembled by Daniel Lebard with the assistance of the gallery owner Renos Xippas.
Aaron (estimate 200,000-300,000), a strong work from the beginning of Jean-Michel Basquiat's career, 1981, exhibited at MoMA in New York the same year, is still very minimalist, yet a very sensitive and enigmatic work.
"It is a great honour and pleasure for Christie's to present Daniel Lebard's collection in Paris. This singular and rich collection brings together an exceptional group of mainly French design icons from the first half of the 20th century - including landmark works by Pierre Chareau, Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille and Jean Royère - with a group of artworks illustrating some of the major trends and artists of the time, Jean Royère - with a group of artworks illustrating some of the major trends and artists of the 1960s to the 1980s - Takis, Pol Bury, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Janis Kounellis, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Bertrand Lavier, Christain Boltansky, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Combas... This exceptional sale will attract the attention of the most demanding international collectors. --Sonja Ganne, International Chairwoman Design, Christie's
The different sections of the sale demonstrate the eclectic nature of this extraordinary collection. Alongside 20th century furniture, collectors will be able to discover high quality prints such as Cindy Sherman's Untitled, films still#20, 1978 (estimate 120,000-180,000) and Andreas Gursky's Tokyo Stock Exchange (estimate 200,000-300,000) alongside Avant-Garde works such as Pier Paolo Calzolari's Senza Titolo (candele) (estimate 80,000-120,000) or Francesco Clemente's highly engaging set of seven watercolours, Mon portrait pendant la première guerre du Golfe de Bush en Irak (estimate 80,000-120,000).