Paris Design Week 2020 – One To Watch: Pierre Gonalons
His career took root with the Sunset lamp and escalated from there. With nods to the Memphis Group movement, in which geometry, awkward, off-balance shapes, classicism, and baroque influences converged, Gonalons’ creations are marked by the use of marble, wood, and ceramics, as well as glass. “I like working with glass, in particular with Murano glass factories. It’s like a magical material with which you can imagine anything you want,” says the designer. Combined, these materials “play with contrasts, the thrill of emotion, and the passage of time, which remain key values in my work.”
Gonalons’ designs and philosophy attracted like-minded creatives, and he has collaborated with prestigious brands such as Lalique, Chloé, Pierre Frey, Nina Ricci, Pernod, and Weston, to name a few. He was named artistic director for the historic Italian design editor Paradisoterrestre and has worked closely with Italian clients such as Ceramica Bardelli and Masiero. The designer says he was blessed to discover a shared vision with his collaborators that allowed his ideas of beauty, however eclectic they might be, to transpire.
While significantly scaled back, Paris Design Week took place last September when, as part of Maison&Objet, Gonalons showed at the Hôtel de Soubise in the Marais. His focus on seating, based on a cylindrical shape lopped off at a sharp angle to create the seat, commanded the wonderfully baroque room. He accented the seating with an impressive marble-based mirror and a Murano glass floor lamp. Even with coronavirus still looming, he was quite busy at the fair. “It was a wonderful surprise that a lot of visitors came, and I had great meetings,” he recalls, “so I must say that Design Week was very positive for me!”