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Get out your checkbooks, for the first time in 30 years 76-year-old French designer Maria Pergay presents new work in New York.

Get out your checkbooks. For the first time in 30 years, the queen of steel and brilliant bronze, 76-year-old French designer Maria Pergay, presents new work in New York.

Almost forty years after she presented her debut collection of daring, elegantly sculpted stainless steel furniture at Paris's Maison et Jardin gallery in 1968, 76-year-old French designer Maria Pergay re-emerges onto the scene with an exceptional collection of 15 limited-edition designs. Though highly coveted by impassioned collectors since the 60s, including Salvador Dali, Pierre Cardin, and the Saudi Arabian royal family, Pergay's name had been hidden in dusty French periodicals and elite collections; unsigned, her designs were recognizable only to the trained few. That was until Suzanne Demisch and Stéphane Danant of the Demisch Danant gallery in New York accidentally stumbled upon her work in 2000 and followed a sinuous paper trail that led all the way to Pergay's door. "She had her own success within her own little bubble so when we met her she was pretty surprised that people were interested in her work," explains Danant. Her name—and auction figures—now come attached with superlatives, assuring a prominent place in the annals of design. Continually fascinated with new materials, inventive juxtapositions, traditional methods and contemporary technology, her new collection, collaboratively on display at the Demisch Danant and Lehmann Maupin galleries in New York until April 29, is a magical synthesis of five decades of exploration and expertise. Limited to a series of eight, each design is a handcrafted expression of wonder and refinement. Be sure to catch the final days of the show, and pick up a copy later this spring of 'Maria Pergay: Between Ideas and Design,' the first comprehensive anthology of her work, authoritatively penned by Suzanne Demisch.

Pull out quotes:
When we met her several years ago she wasn't doing furniture design. While having total faith in her talent, we had no idea what a 75-year-old woman was going to create in 2005.

The most interesting thing about this new collection is that it combines her life as a creator, her travels throughout Russia, France and Saudi Arabia, and synthesizes all of those things in an original mix of oriental, baroque and modern influences.

Accepting the challenge to do this project at her age was pretty amazing.

She's involved in the whole process of constructing the piece. She has a mental image that she'll sketch on a napkin in a restaurant, and then weeks later you'll have this huge table.

We've been working with her 60s furniture for years now, and little by little people have begun expressing great interest in her, and in the period. Most of the time when something becomes this important, it's because it has its own personality. You wouldn't find anything similar anywhere else at the same time because she was rather unaware of what her contemporaries were doing.

The 'Flying Carpet' from her first collection in 1968 is exceptional for its proportion and elegance. It is at once oriental, modern, pure—out of space, and time.

Her designs are distinguishable for their amazing alchemy of shape, balance and proportion.

For me her masterpiece is her 'Three Tier Table', which she created for Pierre Cardin in 1975.

From her new collection, I love the 'Draped Cabinet', 'Marquetry Console' and the 'Tiger Table', a 6-legged camouflaged-steel feat of engineering.

When you move the panels of the 'Folding Screen', the trees multiply to create a forest.

Maria Pergay: New York
March 30-April 29, 2006
Demisch Danant
542 West 22nd Street

Lehmann Maupin Gallery
540 West 26th Street

Maria Pergay: Between Ideas and Design
By Suzanne Demisch
Published by Demisch Danant
Release Date: June 15, 2006
Preorder now:

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