Martel, Jan et Joël

Martel, Jan et Joël – Sculpture of a cat “Chat Assis” in ‘Lakarmé’ – Height: 38,5 cms. Depth: 17,5 cms., Width: 14,5 cms.

Martel, Jan et Joël (1896-1966) – Sculptors and twin brothers Martel worked together their whole career and life. They both lived and worked in Paris where they had their own studio in a block of houses designed by the architect Rob Mallet-Stevens (1, Rue Mallet Stevens). They both studied at the “École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs”. As men of their time they examined in depth, after their graduation, in the wide range of new and modern technologies and materials. Next to working in existing materials as wood, bronze, stone and concrete they developed a new material consisting of a mixture of ‘galalith’, plaster and sand which they called ‘Lakarmé’. They executed monumental works but also animal sculptures, they were true ‘animaliers’. The sculpture shown here is naturalistic and shows the characteristics of a cat but also has features of abstraction and cubism. The Martel brothers were co-founders of the ‘L’UAM’ (Union des artistes Modernes). They took part in many exhibitions and ‘salons’ of their time, as ofcourse the “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industrielles Modernes” in 1925. Remarkable and special is that these twin brothers also died in the same year, 1966, some months after each other.

The absolutely breathtaking villa Cavrois of Mallet Stevens in Croix, France) houses some of their sculptures, as well as this one in ‘Lakarmé’. Their work is to be seen in many museums, a.o. in MOMA New York and in the “Musée des Arts Décoratifs” in Paris.