In the eyes of Aurélien Jeauneau : Michel Mortier's SFC3001 low chairs

© Yann Morrison
© Yann Morrison

From the 1950s, designers made the fireside chair - small armchairs without armrests, an essential creation in their body of creation: compact, multifunctional, it could be used just as well in the corner of a room in a bedroom, as a pair in an entrance or in a group in a school, hospital or company hall.

This small seat interests the designer-architect Michel Mortier (1925-2015), a young French designer contemporary with Pierre Paulin and Pierre Guariche, with whom he formed the Atelier de Recherches Plastiques, from 1954 to 1957 with Joseph-André Motte . Together, they will revolutionize the French style.

Michel Mortier does not design furniture, he builds pieces. Each element produced, defines its avant-garde thinking a little more: the intelligence of forms is only intertwined with the evidence of a function. The SFC 3001 low chair, of which only 4 examples are known today, is a manifesto. The volumes are precisely thought out here, from the wooden structure to the square induced in the space by the backrest and the seat. The paring down of the room, returned to its unique utility, projects Michel Mortier's reflection beyond a simple fireside chair. The timelessness of the design and the technical mastery acquired by the designer make it one of our rarest and most interesting discoveries of this year.

As a general merchant who defends French taste, these opulent and spectacular fireside chairs with this ornament by vacuum show us all that the 70s and 80s owe to the 50s.

Trained in architecture, Michel Mortier cut his teeth at the Studium Louvre before leaving Paris for Brussels, and joining the furniture department of Le Bon Marché. His talent was spotted very early on by Marcel Gascoin, who hired him at the age of 24 and placed him as director of the ARHEC agency until 1954. Setting up his design and architecture agency in 1959, Michel Mortier explored the painting and graphic design to draw new forms. His stay in Canada, where he taught, led him to be one of the most dynamic creators at the Universal Exhibition of 1967. Michel Mortier was rewarded twice for his work: in 1954 at the Milan Triennale and in 1963 by the prestigious René Gabriel Prize.