Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Plateau Amuse Gueule | Yonel Lebovici | France | 1972

Yonel Lebovici PlateauYonel Lebovici
France, 1972

The following biography is excerpted from the exhibition and catalog of his work by Maison Gerard, October 1 - 26, 2007.  It was written by Barbara Deisroth, director of Sotheby’s 20th Century Decorative Works of Art Department.  The catalog is available here.  Am I the only one who thinks the Maxi light looks like an early generation iPod?

Yonel Lebovici, or Lebo as he was called by friends and family, was born in 1937 to Narcisse, a Romanian writer and Louise, his Breton-born mother.  As a young boy, his enthusiasm and delight for the arts including sculpting, painting and drawing was revealed as well as his abiding passion for collecting.  After receiving his baccalaureate in 1953 and a degree in aeronautics in 1955, he had a short stint at the aeronautics company SNCASE where he started his long and fruitful love of the light metal aluminum.  This was followed with work as a film extra test pilot and a career enhancing  job as a  be-bop dancer in Saint Germain des Prés; not the typical career path of a classically trained engineer.  But it did illustrate very clearly Lebo’s joyful approach to life.

With Lebovici’s early death at the age of 60 in 1998, we lost a great eye onto the world.

Lebovici said, “I do not like to be bored, or to bore others.  I love and want easy, pleasant playful things and of which the utility, in the end, will depend on the imagination and the desires of the individual.”

While many of the objects created by Lebovici are large and sculptural and metal, this entry is for the ABS plastic “Plateau amuse gueule.”  It is composed of 13 spheres in 26 hemispheres.  Twisting the central sphere around a simple central axis reveals 12 bowls.  It is not marked.

Half Plateau amuse gueule

Half Plateau amuse gueule

The Plateau taken apart into its two halves…


…and in operation.

As indicated by its name in French, the object is for serving appetizers or hors d’oeuvres.  It is 7.5 cm tall by 38 cm diameter and has a distinctly snowflaky molecular appearance.

15 square de Vergennes15 square de Vergennes, Paris has a permanent exhibition of Lebovici’s work.  A more detailed biography appears there as well.

White Plateau amuse gueule       White Plateau amuse gueule Plateau amuse gueule, white.  Images from eBay, item sold for $185.  Another recently sold for €183 ($240).

Orange Plateau amuse gueule      Orange Plateau amuse gueule  Plateau amuse gueule, orange.  Image source.  A similar example is for sale here with original box at €400 = $510.

Black Plateau amuse gueule         Black Plateau amuse gueule

My new to me Plateau amuse gueule, black.

Orange plateau amuse gueule with boxHere’s an image of the orange Plateau on top of the original box. Image source.  I’d like a better pic of the box to post if anyone has one and would like to share.

Chrome Plateau amuse gueuleThis is nothing short of awesome.  The entry indicates that it is made of metallized plastic.  From the exhibition at 15 square de Vergennes.

Selected Bibliography

L'Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 - 1973 Philippe Decelle, Diane Hennebert, Pierre Loze, L'Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 - 1973, 1994, p.111.

Yonel Lebovici, Sculpteur de haut niveau Michèle Chartier, Yonel Lebovici, Sculpteur de haut niveau, Editions Stein - Ouaki, Paris, 1995, p.48-49


Deisroth, B. (2007). Yonel Lebovici. Retrieved April 11, 2009, from Maison Gerard Web site: http://www.maisongerard.com/exhibitions/yonel_lebovici/

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Jacob said...

I have one of the original boxes around here somewhere. I'll see if I can dig it up and take a photo.

I've always wanted to see one of the mythical chromed plastic versions in person!

Anonymous said...

I possess a box original
as soon

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