Lehmann Maupin Gallery in collaboration with Demisch Danant will present a new body of work by French designer Maria Pergay. This will be Pergay’s first exhibition in New York in over 30 years. The exhibition will consist of 15 new works that represent her continued fascination with new materials and the challenge to combine them in a playful and contemporary way, employing both traditional methods and contemporary technology.
The collection on view explores combinations and juxtapositions of stainless steel, bronze, wood, and mother of pearl, each an element of wonder and refinement. Establishing unusual pairings, Pergay seemingly encourages these materials to function harmoniously. In so doing, she once again achieves a delicate balance and unexpected beauty; her materials are commanding yet elegant, historically grounded yet absolutely contemporary in their realization. Pergay’s choice of materials and forms encapsulates her distinct taste for things at once traditional and modern.
In their forms, the pieces comprising Pergay’s new collection display hints of the surreal and even the magical. Many of the works appear to be harnessed or confined, establishing a subtle contradiction between function and ornamentation. For a pair of Drape cabinets, Pergay designed stainless-steel and macassar ebony swathes for their doors, each one seemingly held in place by a giant steel safety pin. Pergay also created a slender stainless-steel desk wrapped in a giant belt and inlaid with wood and stainless-steel marquetry, another instance of a fantastical object enveloping the furnishing and playfully undercutting its functionality. Her architectural talents are evident in the new collection, too, as illustrated in her series of doors, one of cast aluminum bricks implanted in glass and another in the form of a giant zipper. Her modern boiserie in stainless steel and exotic woods is reminiscent of traditional paneling popular in 18th century French decoration.
French designer Maria Pergay (b. 1930) has been creating innovative, contemporary objects, furniture, and decoration for the past fifty years. From Paris to Saudi Arabia to Russia, her sophisticated designs fashioned from iron, silver, steel, or bronze have earned her a coveted following among the most influential, iconic, and fascinating personalities of her time, including Pierre Deshays (President of Maison Jansen), Salvador Dalí, Pierre Cardin, King Fahd, and numerous others.