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Pierre Charpin: Avec le dessin

Mar 24, 2022

The Hotel des Arts in Toulon presents a comprehensive survey of drawings by French designer, Pierre Charpin. Defined by bold color and sensuous forms and shapes, the exhibition offers an intimate look at this captivating and creative universe.

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Photography by Luc Bertrand

As part of a new initiative launched this year, Villa Noailles will organise an annual exhibition on designer’s drawings at the Hotel des Arts in Toulon, and Pierre Charpin has been invited to be the first designer to inaugurate this project.

The Hotel des Arts, a contemporary art and design centre housed in an early 20th century building in the centre of Toulon, has always offered a bold and bright exhibition programme, and this new initiative continues its forward-thinking approach to design and exhibition-making.

Drawing is a defining part of Pierre Charpin’s career and it’s not surprising to learn he first studied art before moving into designing objects. Drawing plays equally to the objects or limited-edition pieces he designs, and his work for leading brands such as Alessi, 1616/Arita or Ligne Roset, as well as galleries such as Galerie Kreo, reflect his playful and yet practical approach to making – keeping it fun but functional, with designs that often have bold graphic identity through colour, shape and form. His drawings embody this approach to making; lively and colourful, dancing around the page or attempting to go out of bounds, the drawings feel free and animated, yet there is an element of precision and control that reflects how Charpin works with clear focus and intent.

Titled “Avec le dessin,” (With the drawing), the exhibition at the Hotel des Arts is a mix of framed pieces, wall drawings, and onsite interventions such as a large blue triangle painted on the wall or a small part of a door covered in frenetic pink scrawl. There are some new works made specially for the show and the drawings are made in a range of materials from graphite to coloured pencil, Chinese ink to felt marker.

Charpin, who had a solo show as part of the Design Parade at the Villa Noailles, in 2015, reminds us of the power of drawing and how this accessible and in many ways humble medium can transform a space, be therapeutic, meditative, humorous or delightfully subversive all in one go.

Pierre Charpin, Avec le Dessin, is on view through April 30, 2022





Pierre Charpin, installation at the Hotel des Arts
Pierre Charpin, installation at the Hotel des Arts
Pierre Charpin, installation at the Hotel des Arts
Pierre Charpin, installation at the Hotel des Arts
Pierre Charpin, installation at the Hotel des Arts
Pierre Charpin, installation at the Hotel des Arts
Pierre Charpin, installation at the Hotel des Arts

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