Perhaps the quintessential 1950s Modernist, Alain Richard is known for his industrial yet masterfully crafted furniture and interiors, boasting clean lines and subtle surface embellishment. He studied under René Gabriel at Paris’ École Nationale Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs and, in 1952, opened his furniture and interior decoration atelier. Working alongside his wife Jacqueline Iribe (also a graduate of ENSAD), Richard created many simple pieces, embellished by their color or wood in contrasting tones, as seen in those manufactured by Meubles TV. Interested in exploring the materials of the period, he sometimes replaced wood with laminated plastic panels. Similarly, his iconic “Coquille” chair in Altuglas was featured in the 1968 “Les Assises du Siège Contemporaine” exhibition at Paris’ Musée des Art Décoratifs and is now in the collection of the Centre Pompidou. Later, Richard formed Group 4 for the design publisher Charron with Joseph Motte, R. J. Caillette and Geneviève Dangles and worked with Jean Coural’s Atelier de Recherche et de Création du Mobilier National. In these later years, Richard became interested in designing museum spaces, and his work can be seen at the Petit Palais (Avignon) and the Musée Guimet (Paris), in addition to commissions at Paris’ Banque de France, Orly Airport and the Auber RER station, for example. For these varied and significant contributions to design, Richard won the Prix René Gabriel and the Milan Triennial.
Pierre Kjellberg, Le Mobilier du XXe Siècle. Dictionnaire des Créateurs (Paris: Amateur, 2000) 543-4.
Pascal Cuisiner, Alain Richard: Luminaires et Mobilier, 1950-1970 (Paris: Galerie Pascal Cuisiner, 2009).
Pascal Cuisiner, Meubles TV: Editeur d’avant-garde, 1952-1959 (Paris: Galerie Pascal Cuisiner, 2010), 76-101.
Anne Bony, Furniture & Interiors of the 1970s (Paris: Flammarion, 2005), 171-3.
Yolande Amic, Le Mobilier Français 1945-1964. Paris: Ed. du Regard, 1983, 100-2.