In pictures: Eric Schmitt celebrates its 30 years of creation

Erik Schmidt

French designer and sculptor Eric Schmitt is set to make his mark in London as he brings his unusual proportions to Mayfair’s new Dutko Gallery from April 8 – 14 May.

Eric Schmitt Jarre Table, 2002 Patinated bronze and Carrara marble  Edition of 24  Courtesy Dutko Gallery

Eric Schmitt, Jarre Table, 2002. Patinated bronze and Carrara marble. Courtesy Dutko Gallery

Out of the ordinary and self-taught, combining the skills of a trained musician, architect, designer and sculptor with an addictive passion for equestrian sports, Schmitt has produced a most compelling oeuvre over the past 30 years.

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Eric Schmitt Leaf console, 2013. Patinated bronze and polished bronze. © Atelier Eric Schmitt/ photo DR

His workshop, set at the edge of the Fontainebleau forest is the hub where hundreds of models have been created, designed and shaped before being produced by France’s finest craftsmen.

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Eric Schmitt Scale Dresser, 2008. Marble scales and lacquered wood. Photo: Stéphane Briolant

Schmitt’s work, widely exhibited in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, draws inspiration from the French tradition of decorative arts, the harmony of the late 1920s and 1930s (René Herbst, Pierre Chareau, Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Eugène Printz) with echoes of the 1950s.

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Sugegasa table lamp, 2013. Polished and lacquered brass and patinated cast steel, limited edition.

Yet his approach to design remains resolutely contemporary with extraordinary shapes that puzzle and challenge perceptions.

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Cordouan floor lamp, 2015. Backlit alabaster and brass. Photo: Mathieu Ferrier

Schmitt grasps the full possibilities and constraints of materials, creating tensions through oppositions and visual imbalances through unusual proportions, as shown in the Sugegasa floor lamps (2013) and Cordouan floor lamps (2015). Schmitt’s musical background transpires in his work, continuously punctuated by rhythm, cadences and scales.

Eric Schmitt Jarre Table, 2002 Patinated bronze and Carrara marble  Edition of 24  Courtesy Dutko Gallery

Eric Schmitt Jarre Table, 2002 Patinated bronze and Carrara marble Edition of 24 Courtesy Dutko Gallery

Expressions of nature are omnipresent in Schmitt’s work, represented in different variations from the 1980s to today. His early design places a focus on line and vine-like detail, best exemplified in the stunning Osselet pieces (1996), a pair of low chairs combining an elegantly modelled bronze structure with a camel leather seat reminiscent of early Art Deco masterpieces.

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Sugegasa floor lamps, 2013. Lacquered aluminium and patinated cast steel. Photo: Sylvain Leurent

 

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