Eidos XXI Collection
YMER&MALTA / Benjamin Graindorge
«In order to create this bookcase, YMER&MALTA and Benjamin Graindorge’s work was based on the principles of the theory of forms and Eidos which, according to Plato, includes two assertions, relating to both form and concept. What is a bookcase? What is it made of? How does it receive its user in a tangible, intelligible and sensitive way? From the study of appearances to the study of ideas, the duo set out to activate the different possibilities of the material. By bringing together Plato’s Eidos and the 21st century in a single piece, Valérie Maltaverne and Benjamin Graindorge reconnect with their favorite field, the one that links the past to the present, arts and crafts to new technologies.
To remain faithful to the DNA of the YMER&MALTA Studio, Valérie Maltaverne and Benjamin Graindorge have combined, as usual, all the wealth of ancestral know-how with the most advanced technological innovation. They thus opted for wood marquetry, a technique they had already tested in the «La Belle Endormie: la Marqueterie Revisitée» collection presented in 2014 and during which they had created the cloudInChest cabinet composed of 16 species of natural wood, and which is now part of the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. The assembly of wood facets represented a pixelated cloud in motion. Here, each element takes part in the composition of a birch forest, a dense forest where the user can lightly let their mind wander. The façade of the bookcase is reminiscent of another work, commissioned to YMER&MALTA by the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie for the «Aubusson Tapestry: The Great Lady» collection, where Valérie Maltaverne collaborated with Sebastian Bergne to create the Forest bench, evoking an undergrowth of oak and birch trees in the winter mist.
The bookcase is displayed around this painting evoking the power and depth of the forest, nonetheless connected to the other works through its wooden structure, similar to an interlacing of lianas. The five pieces of the collection respond to each other in a ballet of stems, a true network that skillfully supports each of the structures.
New technologies are one of the means that allowed YMER&MALTA and Benjamin to create this clever system of organic networks, proliferating ramifications, which sometimes acts as a base and sometimes acts as a support for the shelves. The digital machining of the wood was made possible through the remarkable manufacturing potential of the latest machine acquired by the ARC, Mobilier National’s Research and Creation Workshop, a five-axis digital milling machine, offering the possibility of making extremely fine and elegant assemblies.
Also noteworthy in this project is the excellence of the leather sheathing work, applied to extraordinary lengths. The leather glides along the structures, its velvetiness responding to the softness of the various wood species. The chromatic range of materials is borrowed from a range of natural colors, brown and blond like a walnut and powdered grege like the leather.
Organic shapes drawn from the heart of nature, and the most natural colors give the ensemble a feeling of luxury, calm and pleasure.
Designed for a man or a woman, this bookcase undoubtedly express the spirit of the times, a combination of ancient techniques and new technologies, a certain taste for comfort, respect for noble and natural materials.
A dialogue is established with the body, accompanied in its movements and gestures by the refinement of the forms, the lightness of the appearances, the rigor of the lines, the softness of the touch, the evidence of the varieties. Each line is rounded, freed from the right angle, inviting the body to dance with the curves, to delicately settle in the flexibility of the material.
Cloé Pitiot, Curator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris
This piece was presented in the Gobelins Chapel, at the Mobilier National.
Blond walnut, leather, marquetry of different walnut species
Prototyped at the Research and Creation Workshop of the Mobilier national
L.210 x D.65 x H.200cm
Limited edition of 12 pieces