André Mare (1885 – 1932) was a French painter, decorator and furniture designer.
He studied painting at the Academie Julian, Paris.
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.
Architect Louis Süe 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.
Before 1914, he began bookbinding, preferring vellum and parchment and using a vivid palette akin to the Ballets Russes sets, costumes, and German avant-garde painting. His bindings included covers for Le Temple de Gnide, Les Fioretti, La Nuit Venitienne, Les 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.
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.
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.
Deep curves, carved garlands, contrasting woods, and gilded bronze panels distinguished Süe’s and Mare’s furniture. Its inspiration was derived from the style of the Louis Philippe period. With Léandre Vaillat, Süe published Rythme de ‘Architecture (1923), and Jean Badovci issued Intérieurs de Süe et Mare (1924). Other collaborators included Marie Laurencin, André Derain, and Raoul Dufy. 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.
Mare managed the firm’s interior decoration activities and the execution 1910-12 of several furniture ensembles. 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.
The decorative function of the screen was seized on by Mare, who treated them like canvases. Commissions were undertaken to decorate screens to fit in with room layouts. There are some magnificent 1920s screens to be seen — but only bought at vast expense. Mare made a fabulous lacquer over the parchment with bronze frames and feet. It was brilliantly coloured and based on paintings of Gauguin.
In 1928, Jacques Adnet took over as design director at CAF, Süe returned to architecture while decorating, and Mare returned to painting.
Mare showed the decorations and furnishings of the Maison Cubiste conceived by Raymond Duchamp-Villon at the 1912 Salon d ‘Automne. Between 1903-04, he first exhibited his work in the Salons in Paris. 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.
Brunhammer, Y. (1983). The Art Deco style. Academy Editions.
McClinton, K. M. (1972). Art Deco: A Guide for Collectors. United Kingdom: C. N. Potter.
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