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October 01, 2013

Don't miss Provenance at Simon Preston Gallery.

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Through Sunday, October 6, the Simon Preston Gallery in SoHo is hosting Provenance by Amie Siegel, an exhibition that examines the global furniture trade from Chandigarh, the Indian city planned by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret.

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Parliament Building by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in Chandigarh, India. Photo by Duncid.

Conceived in the 1950s, Corbu and Jeanneret designed the urban layout of the city, as well as four major government buildings – the Parliament Building is considered one of his masterworks – two museums and a number of institutional and domestic projects for Chandigarh and the neighboring city Ahmedabad. They also designed furniture for the buildings' interiors, and those tables, chairs, desks and settees are the subject of Siegel’s show.

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Shown at cinematic scale, the film Provenance traces the furniture’s odyssey in reverse, beginning with the New York penthouses, London flats and Paris salons of collectors. From there, it moves backward to the furniture being purchased at auction, to repairs and restoration, to cargo shipping containers, to Indian ports, and finally to Chandigarh, where the story begins.

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Made entirely without narration, the pieces of furniture are the protagonists, silently sharing their stories of global travel, circuits of ownership and fluctuating value.

The show closes on Sunday, after which Siegel will auction Provenance in the Post-War & Contemporary Art sales on October 18/19 at Christie’s in London. Thus turning the film into “another object at auction, inseparable from the market it depicts,” says the artist.

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Open Hand Monument by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh. Photo: Ravjot Singh

 

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