Pierre Guariche emerged as part of the postwar French designer group who sought an alternative to traditionally opulent French decorative arts. He notably developed a unique style of lighting that came to evoke 1950s Modernism in France. After studies with René Gabriel at the Paris’ École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs (1949) and a position working for Marcel Gascoin, Guariche opened his firm in 1952. That year, he also began designing his celebrated lighting line for Ateliers Disderot. In addition, he launched A. R. P. (Atelier de Recherche Plastique) with M. Mortier and J. A. Motte in 1954 and, in 1957, became Artistic Director of Meurop. Designing for Steiner and Airborne, among others, Guariche’s creations exhibited his conviction to produce moderately priced industrial furniture. Design-wise, Guariche preferred clean lines and practicality, notably evident in furniture that was stackable or attached to the wall. His foldable armchair in tubular steel and leather for Airborne was famously displayed at the 1968 exhibition “Les Assises du siège contemporain,” at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Guariche’s work was widely exhibited, notably at the Salon des Arts Ménagers (from 1951) and Salon des Artistes Décorateurs (from 1952). Guariche’s importance as a twentieth-century designer is further attested by his numerous awards, including the Silver Medal at the 11th Milan Triennale with A. R. P. (1957) and the Prix René Gabriel (1965).
Pierre Kjellberg, Le Mobilier du XXe Siècle. Dictionnaire des Créateurs (Paris: Amateur, 2000) 285-6.
Pascal Cuisiner, Meubles TV: Editeur d’avant-garde, 1952-1959 (Paris: Galerie Pascal Cuisiner, 2010), 38-45.
Yolande Amic, Le Mobilier Français 1945-1964. Paris: Ed. du Regard, 1983, 86-9.
Yvonne Brunhammer, Le Mobilier Français 1930-1960. Paris: Massin, 1997.