Friday, 21 March 2008

Serge Roche

Serge Roche, Sculpture

Around 1930, somewhat against the trend of his era, Serge Roche embraced the baroque. His knowledge of the rococo decors and mirror rooms of baroque Europe helped to make him an instant success. First with an exhibition of frames and mirrors at Georges Petit's gallery in Paris, then with an array of furnitures at Elsie de Wolfe's gallery in New York. His successes eventually took him to the London gallery of Syrie Maugham where he showed an expanded range of sculpted and mirrored works.

Mirror fireplace from the rue Las Cases
Only one other was created, for Mrs C. Suydam Cutting, New York

Chandelier, painted metal and glass, circa 1937

He designed and produced furnitures, objects and decors that would hold their own for more than thirty years with a select clientele ranging from the likes of the couturier Chanel to Prince Ali Khan. Created from stucco and mirrors, his consoles, obelisks, fireplaces and decorative objects re-invented the baroque for the 20th century.

Mirror, 1930 - 1939

Plaster objects

A highly important mirror.
One of only two known examples, the other being in a private collection. Syrie Maugham purchased this looking glass from Serge Roche and placed it above the mirrored fireplace in the drawing room of Robin Wilson's apartment in London which she decorated in 1936. In the 1970s, Roche reacquired the mirror.

In addition to his own surrealist and neo-baroque works, Roche collaborated with Jean Michel Frank, Gilbert Poillerat, and the famous Sevres factory. His famous magic mirror was used by Jean Cocteau in his film La Belle et la Bette (1948), which ironically was to mark the end of the vogue of the neo-baroque movement.

La Belle et la Bete

Now playing: Tears for Fears - Mad World
via FoxyTunes


Layer Cake said...

Great new header HOBAC! I've missed some lovely posts of yours while I've been moving. I don't know what the "very soon" posts mean...maybe some inside designer thing??? ;) Happy Easter dearest!!!

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Hi ho Hi ho - off to you know where I go. I will email you when I get back. Hope it all went well.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Roche is the most marvelous designer. Check out my blog for a photo of a Roche four-poster bed that was purchased in the 1930s by Dorothy Paley ... it's now in the bedroom of Bunny Williams ... that Robin Wilson mirror is amazing ... I would love to find out who he was and see more pics of his apartment ...

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Al - hopefully there will be something on him in the Acanthus Syrie Maugham book (when ever that might be) said...

I purchased a mirror at auction tonight that I think (hope...) might be a Serge Roche. I'm trying to find a source to identify it. Short of calling Sotheby's I don't know where to turn. There's a picture of it up on my blog. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.