At Home with DM

At Home with Philippe Jousse

Design Miami

The venerated gallerist shows us around his Parisian home 

In the late 1960s, at just 16 years old, a young Philippe Jousse moved to Paris to pursue a career in photography. Ten years later, he fell in love with the French modernists, by way of a Jean Prouvé chair, while treasure hunting at a local flea market.

That chair proved pivotal; the very next year, Jousse began working as a gallerist himself. As he explains, “It was love at first sight. This standard chair sums up the whole approach of Jean Prouvé across furniture, structure, even architecture. In Prouvé’s chair lies all the essence of his work—versatility, functionality, elegance. The function defines the form. A few months later, I discovered a documentation by Jacques Adnet—an advocate of Art Deco and modernist design and President of La Compagnie des Arts Francais—which featured most of the designers I now represent at the gallery: Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille, Georges Jouve and Mathieu Matégot. On that day, my perspective shifted.”

Portrait of Philippe Jousse, "Le galeriste" by artist Tim Eitel; Courtesy of Jousse Gallery Entreprise, Paris

Fast forward a few decades, and Jousse Enterprises has become one of the most venerated galleries in the world, with two spaces across the Seine from one another—one dedicated to collectible design from the 1950s and ’70s, alongside contemporary ceramics; the other to contemporary art. Widely acknowledged to have played a key role in the development of the post war modernist market, today, Jousse works closely together with his son, Matthias Jousse, to cater to a dedicated international audience.

Evening view from Jousse's terrace;  Photo courtesy of Jousse Gallery Entreprise, Paris

Inside Jousse’s own Parisian apartment, a place he’s called home for the past 15 years, one finds some of the most important pieces from the gallerist’s private collection. Set in a 1960s building on the boundary between the 4th and the 12th arrondissements, the apartment features a terrace that overlooks the Port de l’Arsenal. “What drew us to the place was its large window bays and big outdoor space—with an unobstructed view on the port and the city.”


In the Living Room

Coffee table by André Borderiel Sofa and armchair by Pierre Jeanneret; Lamp “Cloche” by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Photo by Cristopher William; Courtesy Galerie Jousse Entreprise, Paris

“What I like the most in this room is the sofa set by Pierre Jeanneret. I keep it for the memories of Chandigarh. I love the personality and the free spirit of Pierre Jeanneret, who enjoyed building many prototypes. He is, to me, a man in the shadows—but one of a great importance.”


Dining Room Alcove and Staircase

Stool by Jean Prouvé; Sideboard by Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, a special order for Henry Ingber; Lamp by André Borderie; Guns by Andy Warhol. Photo courtesy of Galerie Jousse Entreprise, Paris

This particular space is a wonderful example of Jousse’s skill for artfully combining work across disciplines and eras. Describing his approach, Jousse says, “Regardless of media, we’re always driven by passion. The work must move us. At the very beginning, we bought pieces that we loved by Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Jeanneret, Mathieu Matégot, Georges Jouve, André Borderie, Serge Mouille, and Gino Sarfatti. For contemporary art, the young artists I select are chosen by passion as well—such as Atelier Van Lieshout, Eva Nielsen, Nathanaëlle Herbelin, Tim Eitel, Anne-Charlotte Finel, and Simon Martin, among others. There is always a visceral response to the work.”

In the alcove, he is especially fond of the Perriand and Jeanneret collaboration. “What I love the most about this sideboard is the combination of blackened wood and aluminium—and the proportions, which are ideal to me.”


In the Studio

Pair of Elysées armchairs and Trompettes floor lamps by Pierre Paulin; Coffee table by André Borderie; Courtesy Galerie Jousse Entreprise, Paris

“Thanks to the expert work of my partner and son Matthias Jousse, I was able to furnish the studio with these historically charged armchairs, which Paulin conceived for the Elysées Palace under Georges Pompidou in 1972. It was a very prestigious order. Furthermore, I enjoy reading and relaxing in these armchairs; they’re incredibly comfortable.”


In the Kitchen

Hublot panel by Jean Prouvé (1951-1952); Table in polished granite by Jean Prouvé;Tête à lumière lamp by Antoine Borderie; Image courtesy Galerie Jousse Entreprise, Paris

“This is the first tête à lumière I ever collected; I found this one in 1985. I have been seduced by the organic and sculptural shape of this piece. I enjoyed it so much, I felt I had to meet André Borderie. So we met and began a collaboration—one that is still ongoing with his children.”

“Collecting is always about following your passion, Jousse concludes. "My advice is always to look for pieces that move you—and ideally look for work that is representative of an artist, time, or place. And in case of doubt, seek advice from a gallery; that is what we’re here for.”