Rene Gabriel
Sep 2018

René Gabriel was born in France in 1890. He attended the École Germain Pilon and graduated in 1914. He was one of the leaders of the Paris Modernist movement in France, which lasted from 1923 to 1950. His vision was innovative and showcased how people should live in the new century. He was a good designer of ceramics, rugs, fabrics, furniture, and wallpaper. He opened his local business in 1920, where he sold the wallpapers he designed. While in his workshop, he designed block-printed wallpaper in the 1920’s. His wallpaper designs portrayed some jazzy abstractions, and landscapes. By the end of 1927, he was already exhibiting some of his oak furniture, and also took part in some major expositions in Paris. 

His style was logical, and devoured of complexity, that it greatly influenced the new designers that emerged after his demise. He exhibited his designs and paintings at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. He was such a creativE inventor in furniture making and his work made the foreline for the modernist movement. He was also a part of the establisment of the René Gabriel prize for young designers. He was a rare gem, gifted with lots of innovative ideas, creativity and a sound intellectual capacity to influence the way design was innovated during his time. His believes, design pattern and ideas still weilds an ernomous influence on the furniture of today. During his time, he achieved a lot in the field of decorative art and design. His most prestigous award was the Prix René Gabriel award that is given to a designer for innovation and contribution to the furtherance of fine furniture making in France. 

After World War II, he was commisioned by Auguste Perret to design furniture, when he saw the reconstruction he did at the Le Havre. Gabriel’s furniture style was of a rather sober and rational nature when compared to his conteporaries. And he was known to have copied the design style of Francis Jourdian. He was made a professor at the prestigious École des Arts Appliqués in 1924. Gabriel’s design was characterized with an uncompromising rigor and his work greatly influenced the teachings of design in the university and even among the new designers that emerged after 1950. To encourage the design and massive production of quality furniture, Paul Breton created a prize called the Prix de Gabriel, which was created in Gabriel’s honour. He became a knight in 1949, of the Legion of Honour. Gabriel died in October, 1950.