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Since the opening of their gallery 30 years ago, Laurence and Patrick Seguin have put together a program with the goal of re-introducing the world—collectors, institutions, museums, and other international galleries—to greats like Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier, Jean Royère.
Recently the gallery has helped to produce “Jean Prouvé: L’Âme du Métal” at Château La Coste, which closed March 5. Whitewall spoke with gallerist Patrick Seguin about his admiration for the designers he represents and his typical art and design travel calendar.
WHITEWALL: How would you describe your relationship with the artists/designers you represent?
PATRICK SEGUIN: I’m working on secondary market. All the artists and designers I’m working with have passed away. Even though I have not known them, I have a great admiration for their work. They are icons of modernity and their creations remain relevant and inspiring today.
WW: What do you wish collectors understood better about designers?
PS: Since the creation of the gallery in 1989, we have developed a program that aims to rediscover the designers we represent—Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier, Jean Royère. This work involves exhibitions at the gallery and outside the walls: museums, institutions, as well as in galleries abroad. We have also been pursuing a publishing approach for many years. We have published reference books on Jean Prouvé, Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, Jean Royère. We aim to show to what extent all these creators have prefigured modernity and remain major references in the history of design to this day.
WW: With so much viewable online, what is your argument for getting people in the door and seeing a piece in person?
PS: Many people are now used to discovering pieces online either on the gallery’s website or on our Instagram account. Discovering the pieces in reality at the gallery or at the booth of an international fair such as Art Basel is another experience. It is a way of appreciating in reality the proportions of a furniture or an element of architecture or the materials in which it is made.
WW: Fairs are an essential part of the gallery market now. Be honest, which do you actually enjoy attending and why?
PS: The gallery participates in three fairs: Design Miami/ Basel, FIAC in Paris, and Design Miami/. In Basel we meet international collectors and this fair is a must, in Paris we meet a different clientele made up of French and European collectors for the most part, and Miami is directly linked to the American and Latin American market.
WW: What are your travel essentials and on-the-ground travel rituals?
PS: Los Angeles in February, Venice for the Biennale, New York for the auctions in May and November, London for Frieze, Basel and Miami for the fairs.
WW: What’s a show you’ve seen recently that you’re still thinking about? What other galleries do you admire?
PS: Basquiat at Fondation Louis Vuitton and Calder-Picasso at the Picasso Museum. As collectors, we have a long term relationship with the galleries, but I have a special relationship with Gagosian, with whom I have collaborated on nine exhibitions in his galleries worldwide.
WW: Can you tell us about the show currently on view at the gallery?
PS: The gallery permanently presents pieces by Prouvé, Perriand, Jeanneret, Le Corbusier, and Royère. The exhibitions we organize most often take place outside the walls, such as the recent exhibition dedicated to Jean Prouvé furniture and architectural elements from our private collection presented at Château La Coste near Aix-en-Provence.