Tour de Force
Pierre Frey has launched a collection of fabrics, wallcoverings, rugs and furniture inspired by archive drawings and canvases from the 1920s by Elise Djo-Bourgeois. The modernist designer found fame in the early 20th century with her husband, architect and designer George Djo-Bourgeois, but while the names of her female peers such as Sonia Delaunay and Charlotte Perriand have continued to burn bright, her own work is less well known. This was possibly due to a career that was cut short too soon – after George Djo-Bourgeois died in 1937, she ceased all creative activity.
The collection has its roots in an exhibition that Pierre Frey mounted at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, France, in 2019, highlighting Elise Djo-Bourgeois’ work from the archives of the Lauer weaving mill, which Pierre Frey had purchased in 1995. The rediscovery of her work in these archives was the first time that experts were able to see what colours she used, since her work was previously only known through black and white photography.
The collection highlights the designer’s strong sense of geometry, with many of her creations taking on a three-dimensional quality with the appearance of hard shadows and a sense of perspective. Pictured above are (left to right): ‘Minneapolis’ fabric, ‘Mexique’ fabric and ‘Melbourne’ wallcoverings.