Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999) was one of the most innovative furniture and interior designers of the 20th century, long renowned for the tubular-steel chairs she created with Le Corbusier. Her career spanned nearly 75 years and included work in her native France as well as in Africa, South America, Asia, and Europe, and today her designs are highly collectable. Recently, several hundred photographic negatives were uncovered in her archives, revealing for the first time the scope of her work as a photographer. In the late 1920s, French interior and furniture designer Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999) was at the cusp of her career, just beginning her work as an architect, designer, town planner, and political militant. Starting in 1927, she turned to photography, which was to play a pivotal role in her development as a designer through the pioneering years of the modern movement. Her photographic venture ended in Japan in 1941, when the hope of a better world was shattered by WorldWar II. For Charlotte Perriand, photography was a machine for thinking, taking notes, and stirring emotions, but it was also an instrument of political engagement.
Today, her photographs are a revelation, offering unseen glimpses into her creative process and intellectual development. Her photographs express the important themes and questions explored by modern artists of the day, and are part of the vast stream of avant-garde movements in which painters, architects, and photographers-and sometimes all three combined-worked together in a common spirit.