Pieter De Bruyne for La Permanente Mobili, Cantù

Pieter De Bruyne for La Permanente Mobili Cantù, 1961. Table, 6 chairs and lowboard.

 

Pieter De Bruyne is arguably the cream of the Belgian design crop. His career can be broadly divided in 3 periods.

 

During the first phase, from 1954-1959, he was concerned with so-called "social furniture", furniture that had to be affordable and accessible, all while maintaining a high design quality. He participated in the "Salons Voor het Moderne Sociale Meubel", an exhibition showcasing the best from the Belgian social furniture movement, in 1955,56 and '57. During this time De Bruyne also worked for Gìo Ponti.

 

Eventually De Bruyne grew increasingly disappointed with the Social Furniture movement, especially with the manufacturers of the mass produced furniture. They often changed his designs without his consent, added "decorative" accents and even blatantly copied his designs.

 

The clash between his social idealism and the indifference of the manufacturers was a catalyst for a second phase in his career that lasted from 1960-1969: the artisanal period.

 

De Bruyne went back to his roots, the carpentry workship of his father, Emiel De Bruyne, and started to develop a practice as designer-artist, far from the constraints of industrial furniture production, producing very limited editions and unique pieces.

 

From 1970 to 1987 De Bruyne abandoned all stereotypes about furniture and entered his "non-conformist" furniture phase, becoming one of the earliest pioneers of post-modernism. During this time De Bruyne completely shatters the barrier between furniture and art. 

 

The pieces we are currently offering date from the artisanal period, during this time De Bruyne started collaborating with La Permanente Mobili in the Italian town of Cantù. 

The set on offer won the 4th "Mostra Selletiva e concorso Internazionale del mobile" contest in Cantù, a high point in De Bruyne's career.

We have documentation from Pieter De Bruyne stating that only 2 lowboards of this type were sold in Belgium.

 

The quality of the workmanship and of the materials used is exceptional. No veneer was used, all the pieces consist of massive rosewood, padauk and wenge. The pieces remain in good original unrestored condition.

 

The most remarkable feature of these pieces is how De Bruyne externalises all constructive elements turning the furniture inside-out to its most fundamental form, thus becoming both furniture and "furniture about furniture" as it were, narrating its own constructive logic.

 

Lowboard 245 x 85 x 50 cm, massive rosewood and wenge.

Table 180 x 80 x 76 massive padauk and rosewood.

 

Contact us for pricing.

 

Literature:

Pieter De Bruyne: 25 jaar meubels, exhibition catalogue. Both lowboard, table and chairs pictured on p. 61

Pieter De Bruyne 1931-1997, Pionier van het Postmoderne, Christian Kieckens and Eva Storgaard, both lowboard, table and chairs pictured on p. 229. Most of the information in the descriptive text sourced from this book.

 

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