André Mare (1885 – 1932) french painter, decorator and furniture designer

Rose Mousse pattern for upholstery, cotton and silk (1920), Metropolitan Museum of Art by André Mare
Rose Mousse pattern for upholstery, cotton and silk (1920), Metropolitan Museum of Art by André Mare

Mare André (1885 – 1932) was a french painter, decorator and furniture designer.  

Education

He studied painting, at the Academie Julian, Paris. 

Biography

André Mare self portrait during WW2
André Mare self portrait during WW2

Between 1903-04, he shared a studio with Fernand Leger. From c1911; he worked closely with Roger de la Fresnaye. The decorative arts began showing up in his work submitted to the annual Salons in Paris, although he considered himself primarily a painter at the time. 

"Draperies" Textile ca. 1919 André Mare
“Draperies” Textile ca. 1919 André Mare

With architect Louis Süe, he began designing furniture in 1910 in the workshop Atelier francais on Paris’s rue de Courcelles. He produced radical Cubist furniture designs for Raymond Duchamp-Villon’s Maison Cubiste at the 1912 Salon d’Automne

Bookbinding

Before 1914, he began bookbinding, preferring vellum and parchment and using a vivid palette akin to the Ballets Russes sets and costumes and German avant-garde painting. His bindings included covers for Le Temple de GnideLes FiorettiLa Nuit VenitienneLes Jardins, and Des Voyages et des parfums. During World War I, his wife Charlotte executed his furniture, rug, and fabric designs while he was serving in the armed forces. 

Le Foie des Yeux Binding by André Mare, Paris 1911
Le Foie des Yeux Binding by André Mare, Paris 1911

Decorated Arc de Triomphe

In 1919, with Louis Süe and Gustave Jaulmes, he decorated the cenotaph beneath the Arc de Triomphe for the ‘Fêtes de la Victorie.’

By 1918, Mare and Süe had begun their association under the name Belle France in the avenue Friedland in Paris and, in 1919, set up as interior designers in the firm Compagnie des Arts Francais ( CAF) at 116 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore.

Costume Designer

They designed the costumes and sets for the 1921 production of Maurice Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole at the Opera de Paris. At CAF, they drew on friends’ talents, including Maurice Marinot and André Marty, to take on any aspect of interior design.

Furniture

Other collaborators included Marie Laurencin, André Derain, and Raoul Dufy. Süe’s and Mare’s furniture was distinguished by deep curves, carved garlands, contrasting woods, and gilded bronze panels. Its inspiration was derived from the style of the Louis Philippe period. They designed lighting and objets d’art. In 1921, a portfolio of their work and projects with text by Paul Valery was published as Architecture. With Léandre Vaillat, Süe published Rythme de ‘Architecture (1923), and Jean Badovci issued Intérieurs de Süe et Mare (1924). 

Interior Design

Mare managed the firm’s interior decoration activities and the execution in 1910-12 of several ensembles of furniture. In the 1920s, Süe and Mare designed silver for Orfévrerie Christofle and Tétard Frères. The team designed interiors for several ocean liners and the shop in Paris in 1925 for d’Orsay perfume, including its flacon. Clients included Helena Rubinstein and Jean Patou. Between 1927-28, they constructed and furnished the villa of the actress Jane Renouard at Saint-Cloud.

In 1928, Jacques Adnet took over as director of design at CAF, Süe returned to architecture while decorating and Mare returned to painting.

Exhibitions

Between 1903-04, he first exhibited his work in the Salons in Paris. Mare showed the decorations and furnishings of the Maison Cubiste conceived by Raymond Duchamp-Villon at the 1912 Salon d ‘Automne. Sue and Mare designed two pavilions for the 1925 Paris ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes;’ one for CAF and the other for the Musee des Arts Contemporains, and had work included in the pavilions for Christofle and Baccarat. Work was subject of ‘Andre Mare et la Compagnie des Arts francais (Süe et Mare),’ Ancienne Douane Strasbourg, 1971. 

Sources

Brunhammer, Y. (1983). The Art Deco style. Academy Editions.

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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