Thanks to his exceptionally refined furniture — strikingly expressive and graceful, but never too frivolous — Mathieu Matégot (1910-2001) holds a particular place in the range of mid-century modern design. He embraces the elegance of Déco, but uses modern techniques and materials with bold confidence in the new, industrial age of Modernism. Born in Hungary, the still young Mathieu Matégot settled in Paris just after the roaring twenties, where he developed into a versatile craftsman.
The life of an artistic bohemian suited him well and he worked as a window dresser, illustrator, and tapestry designer with equal success. His knack for furniture design expanded along the way. His use of perforated sheet metal, often with quatrefoil patterns or carefully pleated into rigitulle, became his trademark. It allowed him to give ordinary house, kitchen, and garden furniture an irresistible flair of elegance and lightness, partly influenced by the revival of the decorative arts in that time, but also the result of his own experiments with metal.
Today, his designs are regarded as very costly and rare, as they were often produced exclusively and only in modest amounts. In the Netherlands, his work was distributed by Artimeta, often slightly revised and simplified by designer Floris Fiedeldij to match a more standard mass production.
Reference material + images: Favardin, Patrick. Mathieu Matégot. Paris: Éditions Norma, 2014.
© Archives Matégot, Photam, Adagp + KADER design