When we talk about decoration, Jean-Michel Frank is one of the mentioned names for his works, style, and especially for the way he imposed himself in the selective world of decoration. A famous career, a personality that arouses curiosity, he is a source of inspiration for modern artists.
The man, the artist and his friends
Born on February 28, 1895 in Paris, he was the son of a German Jewish banker. His career path was planned from his early childhood. But the French decorator did not intend to follow in his father’s footsteps in the world of finance, he had already prepared himself for his passion. He was drawn very early to the intellectual and artistic world. Among his acquaintances we can mention Louis Aragon, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles or Jean Drieu La Rochelle. His friends and relatives describe him as a timid and fugitive personality, almost “unbearable”. In 1921, at the age of 26, he decided to start his own business by decorating apartments and rooms in some private hotels owned by his friends.
His career as a decorator
Unfortunately, we can’t write down all of his works and designs. However, we can mention some of those which have marked his art and his passion for decoration and furniture design. His popularity began around 1926, when the furniture designer furnished the large smoking room of an anti-chamber and a boudoir of a private mansion of Charles Vicomte de Noailles. At that time he began to attract the interest of Parisians for his taste for surrealism. Indeed, Mr. Jean-Michel Frank, will opt to stand out a revolutionary and forward looking style for his time. He loved to strip furniture, hijack uses and trash spaces to create a restful void with a soothing tone.
The unique style of his works
He thought that with the nudity of places, we can provoke an aesthetic shock. Yves Saint-Laurent referred to the grand smoking room at Noailles as “the eighth wonder of the world”. He loved the combination of noble materials with the ordinary ones. The well-known decorator always liked to work with other artists for the mixture of art and material. Adolphe Chanaux, with whom he was able to create furnitures like the famous leather sofa, Alberto Giacometti and Diego Giacometti with whom he created decorative objects and lights. He died in the United States in New York.