Éric Touchaleaume – Collectors’ Island

June 10, 2018 12:12 pm

Éric Touchaleaume is obsessed with 20th century avant-garde art and architecture. Much of his life has been dedicated to seeking out and preserving the very rare prefabricated buildings of Jean Prouvé. He lives and works in Hotel Martel, a building in Paris the he restored to its original form, exactly like the influential architect Mallet-Stevens envisioned it in 1927.

Each year the Genevan watchmaker Vacheron Costantin releases an art book titled Collectors’ Island, this year I photographed the entire book and this is one of eight stories included.

Many thanks to Bradley Seymour at Studio Sibling for the invaluable creative direction, and to Lara LoCalzo for her exceptional work as Editorial Manager. All captions written by Virginie Bertrand.

Éric Touchaleaume sitting in one of Pierre Jeanneret’s Senate chairs for the Chandigarh Assembly. Behind him, the plaster Trinité by Jan and Joël Martel, exhibited in 1929 at the founding of the French Union of Modern Artists with a 1970 stainless-steel sculpture by Shamaï Haber and some archaeological relics.

Roman columns and a Mesopotamian orant.

Stairwell at the Hotel Martel, 1927, work of Mallet-Stevens and listed as a historical monument. Located on Rue Mallet-Stevens in Paris, along with other buildings conceived by the famous architect, this hotel was the only one to be restored to its original form, colors, and door and window frames. The entrance gate is the work. Touchaleaume set up his Galerie 54 on the ground floor in the former workshop of the Martel brothers, who were sculptors.

Pierre Jeanneret’s conference table and Senate chairs, Chandigarh, c. 1960.

Éric Touchaleaume at the door to his Galerie 54, former workshop of the Martel brothers, looking at Fontaine lumineuse by Robert Mallet-Stevens. Touchaleaume saved this modernist, reinforced-concrete totem, created in 1927 for the Cubist garden of the Saint Jean-de-Luz casino, from destruction and installed it in front of the Hôtel Martel, which was also designed by the architect Mallet-Stevens and is where Touchaleaume lives.

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