Art In America

Pierre Chareau

at the Jewish Museum,
1109 Fifth Avenue

French designer and architect Pierre Chareau died in 1950, broke and underrated in New York. His work makes a comeback in a remarkable show at the Jewish Museum that effectively harnesses technology to re-create the experience of being in his spaces. Created by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the exhibition’s design uses video, virtual-reality goggles and more. I got the surreal sense that I was actually visiting Chareau’s masterpiece, the 1932 Maison de Verre in Paris. All the high-tech elements are integrated alongside more than 180 examples of Chareau’s sleek furniture, sculptural lighting and interiors. Chareau’s links to the prewar Parisian art world are documented by examples from his collection, including a Modigliani and a Picasso. The show will leave you wanting more Chareau. Sadly, little remains. An East Hampton weekend pad with Quonset huts, built for Robert Motherwell, was demolished in 1985. —Lindsay Pollock


Pictured: Pierre Chareau: Office, 1924, pochoir print, 8⅞ by 10 by ½ inches. Photo John Blazejewski, Marquand Library, Princeton University.

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