Maria Pergay

(b. 1930)

LAMA set the auction record for "Flying Carpet" daybed in the October 12, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction with Lot 187, which realized $162,500.

About The Artist


Designer Maria Pergay, known for tour de force, stainless steel furniture collected by Pierre Cardin, Salvador Dalí, and Saudi royalty, has always had a flair for the bold and dramatic. In the 1950s, Pergay studied costume and set design and sculpture at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques in Paris, segueing into a successful career in window displays for the Hermès flagship store. Her eye-catching displays, which featured bird sculptures, glass spider webs and other backdrops that she created herself, lured luxury brands including Hermès and Dior to commission her to design small silver objects such as letter openers and cigarette cases. Pergay had always wished to fabricate larger items but silver was too delicate, so it was fortuitous when, in 1967, French stainless steel producer Ugine Gueugnon invited her to work with the material for which she is now so famously aligned.

Stainless steel, often associated with the industrial and utilitarian, becomes luxurious, captivating, and indulgent when given the Pergay treatment. In her most iconic work, the Lit Tapis Volant, or Flying Carpet daybed (1968), a sinuously curved platform sits atop a solid, rectangular pedestal. The piece is inarguably elegant and innovative as well as inviting. Her work is also playful and experimental. In the Ribbon Pouf bench (2007), a giant stainless steel bow is arranged so that the sitter takes a seat on the knot, while the hanging strands of the bow serve as the legs.

Entering her ninth decade, Pergay continues to build upon her illustrious career in designing interiors and furniture. In 2012, she was inducted into the French Legion of Honor in the Order of Arts and Letters. Her latest collection was in collaboration with Italian design house Fendi Casa in 2013. She is represented by Demisch Danant in New York City.

Suqi, Rima. “Currents/Q&A: Maria Pergay, 79, Furniture Designer.” The New York Times, 19 May 2010. Web. 3 Sept. 2014.
“Maria Pergay Current Production.” Demisch Danant. Web. 3 Sept. 2014.