Born into a family of craftsmen, Pierre Chapo (b. 1927, Paris, France; d. 1987, Gordes, France) was originally interested in painting but was introduced to woodwork when he met a shipbuilding carpenter in 1947. He studied architecture in Paris and then traveled with his wife Nicole through Scandinavia and Central America in the early 1950s, and later worked in the United States for a year. His visit to celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed home and school Taliesin West during this time had a lasting influence on Chapo’s creative development.
In 1956, Chapo and his wife returned to France and set up his workshop, creating chairs, tables and benches that were both utilitarian and aesthetically pleasing. In 1958, they opened the Galerie Chapo in Paris, where Chapo sold his own work and pieces by other craftsmen such as Isamu Noguchi, with whom he shared a sculptural and organic approach to design. He also worked on projects with fellow designers Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille and Georges Jouve. In the late 1960s, Chapo and his wife moved to Gordes, near Avignon in Provence, and started their furniture business, producing Chapo’s own bold, rugged designs anchored in tradition with a distinct sense of proportion and complexity of execution. At the crossroads of art, design, and craftsmanship, his body of work occupies an important place in major post-war private collections.