Manuel Simon (1978-)
In the great and rich tradition of the decorative arts in France, Manuel Simon’s amazing design pieces in glass and metal resonate deeply with us. Hailing from the South of France, Simon began to work in metal (iron, steel, bronze, copper and brass) during his time in the studio of sculptor François Thévenin (2001to 2003) and his pieces can truly be called functional sculpture, a term we hear often but which is apt here. Simon draws his inspiration in large part from nature and this you see reflected in the organic structure of his work. The sweeping lines dance and flow with purpose and absolutely own the space they inhabit.
This table in glass and stainless steel, makes reference to the work of Claude Lalanne with its lyrical qualities, but the choice of steel as the material and the firmer forest of lines gives it a cutting edge that is entirely Simon’s own. There is something challenging about the labyrinth of lines which is even more emphatic when viewed from above through the glass tabletop.
The guéridon in brown patinated steel copper with glass top is exquisite. The swirling lines at the base make one think of the expressive lines of the Art Nouveau period but that is where the reference ends! The uneven surface texture of the lines of the base and the large cushion-like shape with deep indentation adds another dimension to the piece, creating volume and depth and saving it from any hint of sentimental over-decoration. Simon manages to balance the decorative element perfectly with the functional element in his work, a feat which is not easy.
Images: Both the table in stainless steel and glass, and the guéridon in patinated steel copper (2013), are signed and dated and are unique pieces.
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