Left Bank : Copenhagen on the Seine
You just need to look at the success of BoConcept to see how Danish design still holds true to its 20th century pioneering roots. There can therefore be no more fitting starting point for a tour of Scandinavian design in Paris than Dansk Mobelkunst. This gallery specializes in the sort of Danish design that has taken its vision of organic furniture – popular for its shapes and materials – to the very highest levels. Original works by trailblazing designers such as Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Kaare Klint and Alvaar Alto get snapped up instantly and the reproduction business is booming. This gallery, however, doesn’t sell reproductions, only rare pieces, preferably signed first editions. Galerie Triode is the exclusive distributor in France of reproductions of works by Finn Juhl, designer of the iconic Chieftain chair whose shape and materials – leather and wood – are inspired by an Indian chieftain’s horse saddle, shield and bow.
La Boutique Danoise presents a mix of original and bestselling designs by Louis Poulsen, Artek, PP Mobler and Fritz Hansen, manufacturer of the celebrated Series 7 (or Ant) chair by Arne Jacobsen, reissued this year in seven new colors by the Danish artist Tal R. La Boutique Danoise also carries a selection of designs by its neighbors including Finnish firm Iittala, which has marked this year’s centenary of the birth of fellow countryman and star designer Tapio Wirkkala by re-releasing his famous blown-glass bottles in a limited numbered edition of 2015.
For real Finnish flavor you can’t beat the café of the Institut finlandais, Coutume Instituutti. Surrounded by a beautiful Nordic décor – light wood and picture windows – which feels both spacious and private, it’s a great place to savor an organic sandwich or traditional pastry before browsing the “Helsinki sur Mer” exhibition – a visual ode to the Baltic, which has shaped both the city and its inhabitants (until July 31).