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Jean Prouvé
Jean Prouvé
* Parigi [Paris], Francia [France], 8 Aprile 1901
+ Nancy, Francia [France], 23 Marzo 1984
nazionalità: francese
1953 - 2003
Petrol Station
Germania [Deutschland] » Weil-am-Rhein
1979 - 1983
Francia [France] » Parigi [Paris]
Jean Prouvé. Architecte des Jours Meilleurs, Phaidon, 2017
tr.en.: Jean Prouvé. Architect for Better Days, Phaidon, 2017
Marco Pogacnick, "Prouvé architetto-bricoleur", Il giornale dell'architettura 43, settembre 2006, "Mostre" p. 35
Alexander von Vegesack, Jean Prouvé. The Poetics of Technical Objects, Vitra Design Museum, 2006
Nils Peters, Prouvé, Taschen, 2006
Peter Sulzer, Œuvre complète/Complete Works. Volume 3: 1944-1954, Birkhauser, Basel/Boston/Berlin 2005
Francesca Picchi, "Il più ignoto dei maestri/The least known modern master", Domus 845, febbraio/february 2002, "Servizi/Features" pp. 86-93 (86-99)
Deyan Sudjic, "La seconda vita di Prouvé. Deyan Sudjic incontra Rolf Fehlbaum/Prouvé's second life", Domus 845, febbraio/february 2002, "Servizi/Features" pp. 86-93 (86-99)
Penelope Rowlands, Marisa Bartolucci (ed.), Raul Cabra (ed.), Jean Prouvé, Chronicle Books, 2002
Peter Sulzer, Œuvre complète/Complete works. Vol. 2: 1933-1944, Birkhauser, Basel/Boston/Berlin 2000
Peter Sulzer, Œuvre complète/Complete works. Vol. 1: 1917-1933, Birkhauser, Basel/Boston/Berlin 2000
Diego De Nardi, Jean Prouvé. Idee costruttive, Testo & Immagine, "Universale di architettura" n. 80, Torino 2000
Jean Prouvé Constructeur, Editions du Centre Pompidou, Paris 1990
review: Marco Visconti, Domus 731, ottobre/october 1991, "Libri/Books" p. VII
Prouvé Cours du CNAM 1957-1970, Pierre Mardaga Editeur, Liège 1990
review: Marco Visconti, Domus 731, ottobre/october 1991, "Libri/Books" p. VII
Marco Romanelli, Marco Visconti (ed.), Domus 706, giugno/june 1989, pp. 80-92

Marco Visconti, "Jean Prouvé: il progetto della facciata", Domus 706, giugno/june 1989, pp. 80-81 (80-92)

Luca Barello, Aline Marsaglia, "Prouvé e Parigi", Domus 706, giugno/june 1989, "Itinerario/Itinerary" 47 pp. 89-92 (80-92)
Jean Prouve. Meubles 1924-1953, Abaque, Bordeaux 1989
review: Marco M. Visconti, Domus 717, giugno/june 1990, "Libri/Books" p. XI
Enrico Morteo, Marco Romanelli, "La sedia moderna: progetto, produzione e ri-produzione", Domus 697, settembre/september 1988,  pp.  76-110
Marco Visconti, "Jean Prouvé. Sedie tra il 1924 e il 1930", Domus 697, settembre/september 1988,  pp.  86-89
Jean Prouvé. L’âme du métal, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, Provence (France), Château La Coste Art Gallery, 25 november 2018 / 5 march 2019
Jean Prouvé. Architecte des Jours Meilleurs / Architect for Better Days, Arles (France), LUMA, Grande Halle, Parc des Ateliers, 20 october 2017 / spring 2018

As part of its guest program, the LUMA Foundation, together with Paris-based Galerie Patrick Seguin, is pleased to announce JEAN PROUVÉ: Architect for Better Days, a major survey exhibition devoted to the innovative twentieth-century French designer of furniture and architecture. Comprising twelve prefabricated buildings created between 1939 and 1969, this exhibition features the largest number of Prouvé’s demountable construction systems ever assembled in a single location, and aims to revisit the functional side of his architecture, a focus that is as timely and relevant as ever in light of today’s housing and migratory crisis.

Following the installation of four houses at the Parc des Ateliers in Arles in May, the full exhibition opens October 20, 2017 and runs through spring 2018. That the structures are installed within and in close proximity to La Grande Halle – an exhibition venue wrought from a nineteenth-century foundry—is a fitting tribute to Prouvé’s training as an artisan metalworker.

Jean Prouvé (1901-1984), regarded today as one of the most enduring and important figures of twentieth-century design, approached the construction of furniture in the same way he constructed a house. In order to describe this balance of material integrity, innovative and economical construction, and elemental design, Le Corbusier designated Prouvé a constructeur. At once an architect and an engineer, the term encompasses the singularity of Prouvé’s elegant approach as well as his vital social motivation, manufacturing “brilliant solutions” for the modern era’s most urgent needs. Though Prouvé is today synonymous with the bent sheet-steel frames of his now-iconic furniture, his seminal contributions to modern architecture and his socially engaged praxis as constructeur –united the realms of industry, architecture, engineering and design– deserve far more attention than they have historically been afforded.

Prouvé’s social consciousness in design was forged at a young age, inherently tied to his conception and production of craft. He privileged collaboration, the integrity of material processes, and the ethical applications of industrial technologies across the five decades of his career. Early on, Prouvé’s experimental use of materials (specifically steel and, later, aluminum) led to collaborations with Robert Mallet-Stevens, and, with Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier, and Charlotte Perriand, he became a founding member of UAM (1929).

Acutely aware of the shifting social and political landscape of his time, Prouvé adapted his construction system to the exigencies of his historical moment. His metal building systems used economical but durable construction materials that could easily be assembled, dismantled, transported, and modified. In the 1930s, Prouvé began to create prototypes and secure patents for portable building systems, or “demountable” houses.

The iterations featured in JEAN PROUVÉ: Architect for Better Days – including the small series of portable homes Prouvé produced in the late 1930s, prefabricated pressed steel and wood military barracks, temporary accommodations for refugees, and his final demountable prototype created for Ferembal, an industrial packing company near Nancy (1948)– each attest to the development and modification of the structures designed by Prouvé according to the demands of their time.

As he adapted his prefabricated systems to both civilian and military use, Prouvé was praised during the Second World War for his audacious designs, innovative construction techniques, economic yet quality use of materials, and combination of scientific and humanist design principles. Following his support of the French Resistance during the war, Prouvé was appointed interim mayor of Nancy in 1944, and later honored by the Ministry of Reconstruction and Urbanism for his contributions to reconstruction efforts (1947).

After relocating his workshop to Maxéville, in the outskirts of Nancy in 1947, Prouvé undertook his most concerted efforts to produce prefabricated housing units on a mass scale. Still Prouvé remained committed to meeting the needs of different segments of society after the war, especially to the improvement of housing, schools, and other domestic infrastructure. The simple harmony and structural core of Prouvé’s “La Maison Les Jours Meilleurs” (1956), commissioned by Emmaeus founder Abbé Pierre, perhaps best exemplifies Prouvé’s lifelong commitment to the application of industrialized architecture to social need.,

Though Prouvé aimed to produce houses on the scale of Citroën’s production of cars, the vast majority of his prefabricated building prototypes were never widely adopted during his lifetime. Nevertheless, the exhibition testifies to the abiding power of Prouvé’s architectural systems among subsequent generations of architects.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a survey publication produced by the LUMA Foundation in collaboration with Phaidon Press. The book features two newly commissioned essays by architect, critic, theorist and Dean Emeritus of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Prof. Mark Wigley, and Philippe Trétiack, a Paris-based architecture critic and author, and includes a wealth of historical and archival material on the twelve constructions exhibited at LUMA Arles, and Prouvé’s oeuvre in general.

Educational activities for middle-school, high-school and university students will be held in tandem with the exhibition. More information will be released on our website
Jean Prouvé, vom System zum Haus, Kaiserslautern, Architekturgalerie der TUJean Prouvé, vom System zum Haus, Kaiserslautern (Germany), Architekturgalerie der TU 4 / 29 november 2015
Calder | Prouvé, Le Bourget, Paris, Gagosian Gallery, 8 june / 2 november 2013
Una passione per Jean Prouvé. Dal Mobile alla Casa. La Collezione di Laurence e Patrick Seguin, Torino, Lingotto, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, 6 april / 8 september 2013
Norman Foster, Luis Fernández-Galiano, (ed.), Jean Prouvé 1901-1984: Belleza fabricada / Industrial Beauty, Madrid, Ivorypress Art + Books Space I, 1 september / 12 november 2011
Jean Prouvé. The poetic of Technical Objects
Kamakura, Kamakura Museum of Modern Art, 30 april 2004 / 16 january 2005
Sendai, Sendai Mediatheque, 6 / 24 august 2004
Tokyo, Rensei Junior High School, 6 september / 23 october 2005
Nagoya, Toyota Museum of Industry and Technology, 4 november 2005 / 22 january 2006
Frankfurt, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, 12 may / 23 july 2006
Weil am Rhein, Vitra Design Museum, 23 september2006 / 28 january 2007
Mantova, Fruttiere di Palazzo Te, 18 february / 22 april 2007
Maastricht, NAI Netherlands Architecture Institute, 12 may / 2 september 2007
Paris, Hotel de Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt, 25 september / 18 november 2007
London, Design Museum, 7 december 2007 / 13 april 2008
Roma, Ara Pacis, 19 june / 14 september 2008

Sevilla (Spain), Antiguo Convento de N. Sra. d. l.Reyes, 6 october / 30 november 2008

Wien, Hofmobiliendepot, 10 march / 21 june 2009
Seoul, Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, 17 september / 29 november 2009

Mendrisio (Switzerland), Galleria dell Accademia, 19 february / 16 april 2010

review: Marco Pogacnick, "Prouvé architetto-bricoleur", Il giornale dell'architettura 43, settembre 2006, "Mostre" p. 35
Jean Prouvé. Three Nomadic Structures, New York, Columbia University, Arthur Ross Gallery, 12 april/15 august 2002
Jean Prouve. Meubles 1924-1953, Bordeaux, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 23 october/17 december 1989
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