Robert Mallet-Stevens at La Pergola (Primary Title)
Robert Mallet-Stevens (Former Title)
In 1927 the French modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886–1945) designed the municipal casino at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a seaside resort in Southwest France, just a few kilometers from the Spanish border. Known as La Pergola, after its lattice-like structural framework, the reinforced concrete building complex, which also included a hotel with 150 rooms and a swimming pool, opened to international acclaim in the summer of 1928. Man Ray’s portrait of Mallet-Stevens at La Pergola was carefully composed to create a series of visual rhymes between the architect, who wears a French bérêt landais and stands with his hands on his hips, and the sweeping curves and angular geometry of the casino’s entrance rotunda.
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