Algerian-French master of metal Max Sauze was born in Algiers in 1933. He studied at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts d’Alger (1953- 56) and the École Camondo in Paris (1956-59). Shortly after, he began producing his own designs in a small art workshop in Algiers. In 1963, Sauze moved back to France, to Éguilles near Aix en Provence.
By 1968, Sauze had founded his eponymous company dedicated to working with aluminum—especially in the creation of dynamic, sculptural lighting fixtures. He designs most frequently involve bent and interwoven aluminum strips over steel wire structures. This production process is said to come from Sauze’s spiritual outlook and the essential recurrent nature of life.
Sauze’s most famous designs are named after constellations and other heavenly bodies, like the complexly geometric Cassiopeia Chandelier (ca. 1969), which was originally designed for the Congress Center in Aix en Provence. Other notable works include the Orion Chandelier (ca. 1967)—which was first introduced at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs—the Uranus Table Lamp (ca. 1970), Isocele Nesting Tables (ca. 1970s).
Sauze’s work, which spans sculpture, gardens, ceramics, lighting, architecture, and books, is emblematic of the art-craft renaissance that occurred in the late 1960s and through the ’70s, a precursor to postmodernism. Though Sauze is now retired, he still lives in Éguillee. His Garden of Éguillee is open to the public, his son, Sebastien Sauze, runs the family business producing his father’s designs by hand.
* Images courtesy of Max Sauze