The HP Le Studio Gallery: 30 Years of Discoveries
Founded over 30 years ago by Elisabeth Hervé and Marc-Antoine Patissier, the HP Le Studio Gallery is specialized in rare lighting fixtures and furniture from European modern architects spanning the period from 1850 to 1980.
Known as one of the best Parisian galleries in its field, acknowledged by both the press and industry professionals, architects, art historians, decorators, and enthusiasts find satisfaction in its offerings of exclusivity, rarity, discovery, and elegance. The gallery, with its unwavering seriousness and impeccable reputation, inspires trust through its internationally recognized expertise, particularly in 20th-century Italian furniture. HP Le Studio stands among the very few galleries worldwide engaged in leading-edge work on transalpine historical design, possibly one of the only ones exploring the history of modern taste in Europe.
For three decades, the mission of HP Le Studio has been to identify, document, acquire, and present to the public rare pieces of decorative arts and furniture created between 1850 and 1980 by major yet lesser-known European architects. These pieces, despite their historical importance and artistic interest, have remained confidential or even forgotten, forming a new and original reference corpus to illustrate the modern tradition in Europe.
The gallery’s focus on questioning the notion of modernity in Italy, particularly from the mid-19th century to the 1980s, has been the cornerstone of its activity since its inception. It has worked diligently to introduce the rationalist and neo-rationalist Milanese school to Paris and international exhibitions, showcasing the works of Franco Albini, Ignazio Gardella, BBPR Group, Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Gianfranco Frattini, Claudio Salocchi, and the Venetian Carlo Scarpa.
HP Le Studio was the first gallery to exhibit the works of Sir Ambrose Heal, Franco Albini, Ignazio Gardella, and Anna Lülja Praun in France. Concurrently, the gallery presents pieces from German Art Nouveau and Bauhaus, Austrian and Munich Secession, and English Arts and Crafts, resonating with the Italian creations from which they draw inspiration.
Furthermore, HP Le Studio has a keen interest in the concept of modern tradition, regularly organizing exhibitions under the title ‘Vous avez dit moderne?’ (‘You said modern?’), highlighting modern efforts in Europe throughout the 20th century.
To establish the enduring success of its discoveries and uniqueness, the gallery has chosen to exclude France from its offerings, recognizing the already well-handled efforts by other numerous and older galleries. The gallery also serves as a space for reflection on the issues of luxury, exceptionality, and the transmission of tradition. The exhibited works are always the result of a tension between a demand for rationality and a certain minimalism on one hand, and a requirement for perfection and high quality on the other.
For instance, in 2016, the gallery presented a project on Austria featuring architect Anna Lülja Praun (1906-2004), accompanied by a publication on this pioneer of modern architecture and decoration, unknown in France, with the support of the Austrian Embassy in Paris. This exhibition outside Austria on A-L Praun (1906-2004) demonstrated how this pioneer had evolved universalist functionalism towards considering the individual and exclusive needs of the Viennese artistic and intellectual elite. Praun’s creations for Herbert von Karajan, Alfred Brendel, or the Denzel family (Porsche) were akin to Haute Couture: a functionalism stemming from a thorough analysis of the personality and specific needs of each client, using luxurious materials without ostentation (lacquers, skins, hard stones, etc.), and a working method aiming to free the intimate self of patrons from their prejudices and weaknesses. Her work allowed this elite to reconnect with the modern Viennese tradition of the Secession and the Wiener Werkstatte. While the moderns of the 1920s addressed a universal man with standardized needs, her modernity was to return to the individual scale without forgetting the lessons of her predecessors.
Another collaboration, this time with Maison Cartier, was the 2017 exhibition dedicated to the Mughal-era embroideries from the Rosekrans collection, acquired in late 2015. After more than 25 years devoted to pioneers of the modern movement and a certain luxurious minimalism, the gallery felt the need for a breath of fresh air in 2017. Tony Duquette and his extravagant orientalism provided an opportunity to share this burst of joy and sparkling magic with the public through his decor for Dodie Rosekrans’ apartment, installed in the early 1990s in Paris, Place du Palais Bourbon, and reassembled in 2015. It was a great joy for the gallery to reconnect with its love for textiles during an exhibition and to do justice to Tony Duquette, often perceived by colleagues specializing in modernism as a superficial eccentric or an overly extravagant figure. Nothing is more constructed, thoughtful, and rigorous than a Tony Duquette setting: the axes, impeccable symmetries of his grand achievements are the foundation that makes possible a poetry of profusion. Without this rigor and, of course, absolute mastery of colors and materials, there would be only chaos or waste. More is more, yes, but on this condition.
On the occasion of its participation in the PAD Paris and London, the HP Le Studio gallery has often been recognized:
These distinctions, awarded by a jury composed of personalities from the world of museums (Guy Cogeval, President of the Musée d’Orsay, David Caméo and Hélène David-Weill for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, curators from the Centre Pompidou, the President of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London), architects like Jean-Michel Wilmotte, renowned decorators like Jacques Grange, some editors-in-chief of art magazines like Guy Boyer for Connaissances des Arts, specialized journalists, researchers, representatives of sponsors like LVMH, and collectors of very high caliber, represent for us recognition and encouragement to continue this essential foundational work and enrichment of the market.
The HP Le Studio gallery received the LVMH object award from the Pavillon des Arts et du Design (PAD) in 2004, 2006, and 2007. In 2008, it was rewarded by a jury chaired by the Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, receiving the “LVMH Award for the Best Exhibition” at Design Art London, the British edition of PAD, in which it participated for the first time. In 2015, it received the LVMH award for decorative arts object of the 20th century for a lacquered bench by Anna Lulja Praun from 1984. In 2018, it won the LVMH award for the best stand. In 2019, it was awarded the object of the 20th century for the discovery of a very rare pair of armchairs designed in 1933 by Emanuele Rambaldi.
The gallery has been publishing a monthly newsletter titled ‘Le Studio Magazine’ since March 2022, documenting its research on Modern Tradition.
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