From the Library: Pierre Chapo

A great book about the life and work of French furniture designer and craftsman Pierre Chapo.


Pierre Chapo in front of R16 sideboard in oak. Clamart 1967. © Chapo Créations

Pierre Chapo’s furniture embodies many of the tenets that we value in design. The quality of each piece is evident in its construction and materiality where thick and solid pieces of wood are expertly joined to form the most balanced and simple designs. The pieces have a ruggedness and refinement that might be explained by the amazing story of his travels in Europe, North America, and Japan. And is chronicled by the book Pierre Chapo by Magen H Gallery.

The story began in Europe where Chapo and his wife Nicole, strapped their Model T to a boat and shipped it across the ocean to Honduras. They slept in the car which functioned as a sort of camper van and even hunted along the way, driving through El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. They eventually made their way to the US where they zig-zagged around the Southwest, exploring Tucson, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, and then finally to New York. After leaving New York and settling in Paris, he and Nicole set up a gallery where they sold his furniture alongside other well-crafted design goods like Noguchi lamps. Chapo continued to design and produce pieces into the 80’s and his work continues to live on through Chapo Creations which still makes oak and ash pieces in France.

Images courtesy of Magen H Gallery. Words by Dante Iniguez.

Process sketches. © Change is Good
Chair Illustration. © Change is Good
S35F Straight-back bench. © Bernard Saint-Genès,
Salon des Arts Menafers. Paris. February 1965. © Chapo Créations
S24. © Bernard Saint-Genès
S45A chair elm, c. 1979. © Change is Good
T35C table, elm, c.1972. © Bernard Saint-Genès
© Bernard Saint-Genès
R13 sideboard in oak and Noguchi lamp. © Chapo Créations
B17. © Change is Good
© Jason Mandela
S371 Leather Chair. © Bernard Saint-Genès
First T01 Table. © Chapo Créations
© Bernard Saint-Genès, T14 table. elm, c. 1960
L07A. © Change is Good
T02 Round table. © Bernard Saint-Genès
T14D Table, elm, c.1964. © Bernard Saint-Genès
T14 table, R08 sideboard and chairs by Charlotte Perriand. c.1960. © Chapo Créations
S28A chair, elm, c. 1972. © Change is Good
T08 coffee table, elm, c.1965. © Jason Mandela
R28 sideboard, elm, c. 1985. © Chris Gosney
Sketches for S10 chair. © Change is Good
Salon des arts Menagers. Today's home. Paris 1966. © Bernard Saint-Genès
S11X chair, elm and leather, c. 1966. © Change is Good
B19 Adjustable desk with drawers. © Colby Blount