Nigel Coates, Rare, Early and Iconic “Genie” stool 1988
NIGEL COATES (b. 1949) England
BRANSON COATES ARCHITECTURE London
“Genie” stool 1988
Carved and sandblasted solid ash seat on twisted mild steel legs
Marks: NIGEL COATES GENIE STOOL
Illustrated: 1000 chairs, Charlotte & Peter Fiell (Cologne: Taschen Verlag, 1997), p. 615.
H: 26: x D: 13 1/2″
British architect and designer. He studied at Nottingham University and the Architectural Association, London, where he graduated in 1974 and subsequently taught until 1989. In 1983 he formed the group NATO (Narrative Architecture Today) with a group of former students and began to practice independently; two years later he went into partnership with Doug Branson (b 1951). Coates became known for his fluid and lively graphic style and the overt theatricality of his designs. His proposals for the redevelopment of London, involving sophisticated allegories of popular culture, were shown in two exhibitions: ArkAlbion (1984), with drawings of new development areas such as County Hall and the Isle of Dogs, and Ecstacity (1992), with computer simulations and video clips. In the renovation (1980) of his own flat in London he juxtaposed the original, ornate late 19th-century interior with ‘found’ furniture and decorative objects. The publication of this project brought Coates to the attention of Japanese clients who were seeking fashionable Western designers, and he carried out several projects in Japan that became increasingly theatrical: in Tokyo the Metropole Restaurant (1985) evokes a European café, while the Parco Café Bongo (1986) juxtaposes classical English furniture with an imitation aeroplane wing mounted on the ceiling; and the Arca di Noè (1988), Sapporo, is an eclectic mixture of classical motifs and a concrete boat. Coates’s radical approach was dissipated in later British works, such as a series of London shops: one for Katharine Hamnett in Sloane Street (1988) has a shop front formed of aquaria, and one for Jigsaw in Knightsbridge (1992) has its shop front formed of a two-storey copper column in the shape of a phallus. In 1992 he began designing an extension to the Geffrye Museum, London.
Coates was an influential teacher at the Architectural Association from 78- 86, and has lectured extensively abroad. In 1995 he was appointed Professor of Architectural Design at the Royal College of Art and now divides his time equally between the college and his office. Nigel Coates furniture is represented in the Modern Furniture Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
“I go for architecture that overlays and enhances. By blending observation and wit with reason, I want my work to generate a sense of the unexpected, and the seemingly spontaneous.”
JEAN DUBUFFET (1901-1985) France
PIERRE-ANDRE-BENOIT (1921-1993) France
“Oreilles Gardees” 1962
No. 149 out of 300 numbered copies
Published by PAB, Paris. Original illustrated wrappers: illustrated book with eleven lithographs. In this Dubuffet and Pierre-André Benoit collaboration numerous drawings by Dubuffet are interspersed with an imaginatively designed text reproduced from hand-stamped letters.
Book: H: 9 7/8” x W: 10 ¼” x D: 3/8”
Custom leather box 2008: H: 14 ¾” x W: 14 ¼” x D: 2”
Custom silk slipcase: H: 15 3/8” x W: 15 3/8” x D: 2 7/8”
Brassaï (1899-1984) Austria-Hungary [now Romania]
Paul Morand (1888-1976) France
“Paris de Nuit” (Paris After Dark) 1933
Published by Arts et métiers graphiques, Paris
Book: H: 9 13/16” x W: 7 9/16”
Custom leather box: H: 10 5/8” x W: 8 5/8” x D: 1 3/8”
Custom silk slipcase: H: 11 21/32” x W: 9 5/8” x D: 2 7/16”
Brassaï is the pseudonym of Guyla Halász from Transylvania (Hungarian at the time of his birth, but currently part of Romania). Brassaï literally means: from Brasso (his native village). He decided to use this pseudonym in 1932, the year in which Paris de nuit was published. He had already been living in Paris for eight years, where he wrote articles for German magazines and met photographers such as Atget and André Kertész. Not until 1930 did he first begin to take photographs himself, immediately discovering his main subject: Paris.
He moved into an apartment on the corner of the Rue de la Glacière and the Boulevard Auguste-Blanqui in 1928, where Raymond Queneau also lived. He would go out at night with Queneau or other nocturnal people such as Léon-Paul Fargue, but Brassaï usually just walked through the abandoned streets and alleys of the city. He could only take 24 photographs per walk because the stack of glass photo plates would otherwise grow too heavy.
His nocturnal journeys yielded a wealth of photographs, which by now have gained the status of icons of modern photography. They were first published on 2 December 1932 by Arts et metiers graphiques, which was Charles Peignot’s publishing business. He was also the founder of the magazine Arts et metiers graphiques (1927-1939) in which articles on design, typography, illustration and advertising appeared. It was printed in an edition of 4000 copies: there were also printers associated with the editing staff, like Léon Pichon. Peignot was the president of type foundry Deberny et Peignot, and were in contact with the Union des Artistes Modernes (Cocteau, Gide, Sonia Delaunay, Maximilien Vox and others) and with poster designers such as Cassandre.
The first review of Paris de nuit was published in a Dutch newspaper, the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant of 29 December 1932. An English edition of the photo book appeared in 1933 from Batsford Gallery in London. The photographs were also exhibited. Many photo books were to follow, including a book in 1960 about the graffiti on Parisian walls, which he had documented in his photographs since 1930. Not without reason did Henry Miller call him ‘the eye of Paris’. Jean Paulhan actually asserted that Brassaï had more than two eyes.