Pierre Yovanovitch Unveils His First Furniture Collection – Architectural Digest
“Oops!” exclaimed French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch on Tuesday at New York gallery R & Company. “We say it a lot in France. It’s funny. It’s a surprise.” It’s also the name of his just-launched collection of furnishings, a first for the designer best known for his pared down—but never stark—sense of modernism. “When Evan [Snyderman, cofounder of the gallery] asked me to do this it was such a surprise!”
Walking into the gallery, that same sense of surprise is immediate: Yovanovitch has completely transformed the space. Past the entrance, he devised a rounded hallway of sorts, carved with glowing vitrines. A French painter was brought in to splash accent walls with a burgundy coat resembling velvet. And the usually concrete floors were lined with a rubbery material typically used in gymnasiums. Here it looked more like an elegant terrazzo.
Not so surprising (if you’re familiar with his exquisite interiors) were the 24 new pieces that filled the space—each of them nuanced and meticulously crafted by a fleet of artisans across Europe and mixed in with treasures from R’s collection (a never-before-seen trompe l’oeil Wendell Castle chair; an eye-catching, Lapo Binazzi coat rack). Still, walking through, an element of surprise follows: A long, saddle-shaped bench is, in fact, one impossibly difficult-to-cast piece of ceramic (“the ceramicist did one in two parts but I said, ‘No, I prefer one,'” he laughs); a zig-zagging sofa is made from perfectly joined pieces of pine without a single nail or screw—and it’s suitable for outdoors.
Perhaps the least surprising—but most lovable—piece of the show was the one many of us were seeing for the second time: the Papa bear chair. This time, joined by a Mama bear and baby bear. “It was only commissioned for several projects but they ended up all over Instagram,” he says. “This time, I’m doing them in sheepskin.” The rounded ears on top, he tells, me, are actually intended as headrests—”totally ergonomic!”
“It’s all about creation tension,” he explains of designing furniture. “It’s masculine and feminine; it’s rough and sophisticated; it’s very well done but never serious.”