03.16.2022 – 05.03.2022
Les Ateliers Courbet will unveil Continuum, a collection of limited-edition furniture pieces by Belgian-born, Paris-based designer Pieter Maes in collaboration with Dutch master woodcrafter Rutger Graas, the esteemed French upholsterers of Jouffre, the stone artisans of Il Granito, and 3DW. Informed by his engaged dialogue with each of the artisans, Maes’ sketches and paints continuous lines and curved silhouettes, drawing inspiration from the timeless quality of archetypal forms. Incepted and creative directed by Ateliers Courbet founder Melanie Courbet, Continuum is an early iteration of the gallery’s Editions Courbet program dedicated to further supporting the world’s rarefied master-craftsmen. The program nurtures its ateliers by fostering the apprenticeship of younger artisan generations with international artists’ collaborations. Every year, the program will bring guest designers and artists together with selected ateliers, to create a limited series of designs inspired by the expertise gleaned from long lineages of craftsmanship.
In this collection, Maes worked with four ateliers throughout Europe to create his Fold sofa, Palindrome chairs and daybeds, and a series of sculptural Dolm and Ur tables. “Pieter’s collection, as well as the Editions Courbet program, reflect the original intention behind the gallery; to support our ateliers and today’s rarefied artisans by initiating and promoting their collaborations with contemporary luminaries. The series is a paean to the master craftsmen behind it, their detailed work and dedication, as well as the rich legacies of excellence and humility each carries on,” says Melanie Courbet.
The collection takes the designer’s vocabulary in a new direction and builds on the designer’s past work for Vincent Van Duysen and collaborations with the likes of, Tribu, and Ligne Roset. “The monolithic forms of this collection are about breaking with the traditions of industrial design,” says Maes. The pieces combine clean, modern lines, with organic curves, generous proportions, and textured materials.
Maes and the masters materialize elegant and simple forms that evoke artifacts from the Neolithic and Cycladic Periods, as well as works of 20th-century abstract artists and sculptors. Central to Maes’ design vocabulary is the notion of simplicity and timelessness. “There’s something powerful about the serenity and mystery of these essential shapes. I have become obsessed with making simple, unfussy work that triggers something very ancient and dormant in people, no matter where they come from,” Maes continues. “There are many ways to get to the idea of timelessness. I like to position my aesthetic somewhere between the archaic and the futuristic and source inspiration from 3.4 million years of stone, bronze, and iron artifacts.”