French architect and designer, Robert Mallet-Stevens was one the most influential character in the development of Art Deco.
About his life
Robert Mallet-Stevens was born on March 24, 1886, Paris. He received his formal training at the École Speciale d’Architecture. He came to know the work of other young architects at the Salons d’Automnes of 1912–14, and after the war he emerged as a fashionable and even mildly avant-garde designer. In fact, he was an Art Deco designer and architect. Typically, Mallet-Stevens drew artists, musicians, and others into his projects. He died on February 10, 1945, Paris. Mallet-Stevens ordered that his archives be destroyed upon his death. His wishes were honored and his memory fell into obscurity.
What were his major works?
A portfolio of 32 of Mallet-Stevens’ designs was published under the title Une Cite Moderne in 1922. One of his first commissions was for the Villa Noailles (1923-1928) in Hyères, which was used by Man Ray as the set for his film Les Mystères du Château du Dé. Then, Mallet-Stevens collaborated with the painter Fernand Léger and others on Marcel Lherbier’s film L’Inhumaine. This two houses are representative of Mallet-Stevens’ sophisticated synthesis of Cubist painting, Art Deco details, and other artistic modes of the time. Also, Mallet-Stevens relized Villa Cavrois (1929-1932) in Croix which is a large modernist mansion built for Paul Cavrois, an industrialist from Roubaix active in the textile industry. He collaborated with other artists and musicians to do the Tourism Pavilion and so-called French embassy he designed at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925) in Paris.
Also, He created specialized furniture for his homes. The metal chair he created for Mobilier was his take on a Thonet chair. This chair seems to be drawn in black outline around the wooden seat and extended to the legs which are tilted backward and slanted forward, opening its stance to a slightly splayed appearance. His wooden chairs were strongly reminiscent of De Stijl like his Udara chair, using open squares which support two comfortable square cushions.