We attended the vernissage for the Maria Pergay exhibition in the Place des Vosges in the end of March. It celebrated her 55 years in the decorative arts by exhibiting her designs spanning her entire career.
In the 1950s when she started designing with steel, plastic was the popular choice of her contemporaries. At this time steel was still associated with early 20th-century Modernist designers such as Charlotte Perriand and Marcel Breuer. She found steel to be as malleable as it was strong. She was able to produce extremely sultry and expressive shapes.
Steel is still her favorite material with which to work. In her most recent designs she combines it with wood. But this isn’t just any wood - it’s wood from a tree planted at Versailles by Marie Antoinette. (The tree had been uprooted during a storm in 1999.) One of these tables is featured in the image above.
There is a new (the first) catalogue raisonné of her work: Maria Pergay: Complete Works 1957-2010
Photo: Thierry Depagn
This majestic design by Maria Pergay is called the ‘Flying Carpet’ daybed. It was first exhibited in 1968 at Galerie Maison et Jardin on rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris.
Exemplifying Pergay’s masterful command of stainless steel, with this design she renders this normally unwelcoming material soft, smooth and inviting.