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Resistant Materiality in Interwar France: Charlotte Perriand’s Feminine Manifesto Embedded within the Table basse manifeste pour Jean-Richard Bloch (1937)


Resistant Materiality in Interwar France: Charlotte Perriand’s Feminine Manifesto Embedded within the Table basse manifeste pour Jean-Richard Bloch (1937)

Sicotte, Vanessa (2022) Resistant Materiality in Interwar France: Charlotte Perriand’s Feminine Manifesto Embedded within the Table basse manifeste pour Jean-Richard Bloch (1937). Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis examines the work of French architect and designer, Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), by way of the Table basse manifeste pour Jean-Richard Bloch (1937), produced for Bloch’s office as the editor of the highly political Journal Ce Soir. Interior spaces and decorative arts gained importance in the reconstruction of France after the First World War. Within these fields and roles primarily occupied by men, Perriand figured among a small group of trailblazing women who helped shape the modern interior with an approach inspired by natural, vernacular, and artisanal sources and informed by the rise of functionalism. Women designers employed strategies to overcome this gender marginality, influencing their professional experiences and recognition. From the trend of male-female partnership to those who either embraced or rejected female solidarity, women designers demonstrate multiple and contradictory relationships with their sex, the idea of the feminine and feminism. To distill the importance of Perriand’s object-based manifestos, I draw upon an interdisciplinary approach informed by French psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray’s understanding of language, French linguists and theorists Laurie Laufer and Florence Rochefort’s conceptualization of gender, Antoine Picon’s and Judy Attfield’s notions of materiality, gender studies and design theory. I likewise pull from the work of Beatriz Colomina, Kate Millet, Judith Butler, Jane Rendell, John Potvin, and Penny Sparke to build a framework for understanding gendered meanings hidden within objects of daily use. Women furniture designers played a crucial role in French interwar design, yet their presence and contribution are under-acknowledged. This thesis hopes to add to the growing body of research about the experience and representation of women designers and architects in Interwar France.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Sicotte, Vanessa
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:16 March 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hammond, Cynthia Imogen
Keywords:Charlotte Perriand, Modernism, Interwar France, French psychoanalysis, gender studies, psycholinguistics, modern interior, design theory
ID Code:990336
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 15:12
Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 15:12


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