The Easel

15th October 2019

How Charlotte Perriand Rose to Become Design’s Most Unexpected Luminary

Working with Le Corbusier was, for Perriand, a mixed blessing. Her work opportunities broadened but the downside was that he claimed all the credit for her designs. Some of these designs are classics, reason enough for an “epic” retrospective in Paris. In rejecting decorative Beaux Arts styles, she pioneered modernist interiors that are “efficient, as well as comfortable, elegant, and intimate.” Images are here.

The Medieval Myth of Notre-Dame

Engineering is the least of the challenges facing the Notre Dame cathedral restoration. Which of its “hodgepodge of styles” should a renovation emulate? Does its burned spire – a “fake” – merit rebuilding? Will donations for the rebuild from France’s wealthiest revive it as a symbol of power? Politicians are doing what politicians have always done with Notre Dame, “constructing a past suitable to their modern moment”.

8th October 2019

Paris will install controversial Jeff Koons gift on the Champs-Élysées

Jeff Koons has gifted a sculpture to Paris to honour terrorist attack victims. Controversy has dogged the project and, now unveiled,  its public reception is mixed. Initially intended for a location close to upmarket shopping, it has instead been placed in a public garden “partly obscured from view by trees.” A city official observes “some excess in a beautiful place – that represents Paris pretty well”.