make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend

make your fridays matter

Pierre Yovanovitch celebrates Villa Noailles with his scenography ‘Les Nuits d’Été’
Les Nuits d’Été by Pierre Yovanovitch at Villa Noailles in France
Image: Paolo Abate

Pierre Yovanovitch celebrates Villa Noailles with his scenography ‘Les Nuits d’Été’

The French interior designer collaborates with the art centre to celebrate its centennial anniversary, with a site-specific scenography reimagining the original essence of the space.

by Anushka Sharma
Published on : Jul 07, 2023

In contemporary times, with art and design being perceived more significantly as professional excursions, the creative community is ever-expanding. Each year, platoons of young designers set in motion their journeys of discovering and inspiriting their unique voices that fall in with the global creative choir. With the design landscape awash with unique and innovative ideas, platforms to spotlight these ventures are indispensable and never too many. Design Parade is one such international design festival that acts as a bridge between the audience, and the work of emerging designers along with established practices. Since its inception in 2006, Design Parade has positioned itself as a prominent springboard event for young contemporary designers.

In conjunction with the international Design Parade Hyères festival, French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch unveils a site-specific scenography in celebration of the centennial anniversary of Villa Noailles. Yovanovitch, extending his long-time collaboration with the France-based art centre, was chosen to reimagine the summer residence of the late Villa Noailles founders, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. An assay of the couple's significant impact on the 20th-century art scene, the scenography design titled Les Nuits d’Été encompasses pieces from the de Noailles archives alongside commissioning contemporary artworks. The process culminates in a series of immersive vignettes, which usher visitors through the creative minds and daily lives of the owners, one room at a time. Les Nuits d’Été will be on view at Villa Noailles from June 23, 2023 to January 14, 2024.

“Investing personally as well as monetarily, Marie-Laure de Noailles was the consummate patron, standing with modest grace behind artists such as Cocteau, Dalí, Ernst, and Picasso, whom she faithfully followed throughout their careers, unimpeded by the desire to cast her own shadow into posterity. Through reimagining her and Charles’s original home, and creating this imaginary design dialogue with them, we attempt to bring their creative influences to life, taking visitors behind the scenes of this visionary couple,” Yovanovitch shares.

The space spanning 200 sqm, is divided into staged scenes—the setting begins with the entryway, transitioning into the reading room, the dining room, the boudoir of Marie-Laure, the office of Charles, the salon, the dressing room, and the bedroom. Each room features an amalgamation of contemporary art and design pieces along with early 20th-century decorative works selected from the couple's own collection and original archival documents from their lives. Compiled by the French designer with insight from historic curator Éléa Legangneux, the showcased repository includes artworks by Miquel Barcelo, Francesco Clemente, César, Bernard Buffet, Alicja Kwade and Xie Lei, among others. The historic works partaking in the scenography range from furniture design by Pierre Chareau and photography portraits of Marie-Laure de Naoilles taken by Man Ray to sculptural art by Alberto Giacometti. To complete the milieu, Yovanovitch commissioned a series of site-specific works such as a portrait of Marie-Laure by artist Giulia Andreani, an in-situ intervention in the bedroom by painter Alexandre Rochegaussen, and two creations by artist Porky Hefer.

The scenography of Les Nuits d’Été breathes a new spirit into the century-old space while paying homage to the couple’s exploration of modern design and its actors, while nodding to the architectural heritage of the property, Clos Saint-Bernard. Conforming to his knack for transforming historic spaces through a refreshing lens (including his own Provençal property, Chateau de Fabregues), Yovanovitch draws inspiration from his own practice and weaves vintage design elements and contemporary art into it, to narrate his take on the homeowner’s lives.

Complementing the set design conceived by Yovanovitch, Villa Noailles hosts a series of activations which bolster this scenography. The eclectic additions include a musical creation in collaboration with Toulon Opera, a re-imagination of the wardrobe of Marie-Laure de Noailles by young fashion designers and major houses, exhibitions outside the walls (Ronan Bouroullec's drawings in Toulon, and a tribute to Andrée Putman in Saint-Paul-de-Vence). Visitors get the opportunity to experience this renewed space in tandem with the international Design Parade Hyères festival, as well as the fashion, photography, and accessories festival, curated as a window into the animated sphere of contemporary design.

‘Les Nuits d’Été’ will be on view from June 23, 2023 to January 14, 2024, at Villa Noailles in Hyères, France.

What do you think?

Comments Added Successfully!