Raymond Subes (1890-1970) was a master ironworker and a former student of the École Boulle and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in France. As an artist as well as a decorator, he collaborated throughout his career with the greatest of his time: Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, Léon and Maurice Jallot, Jules Leleu, Michel Roux-Spitz, Alfred Porteneuve, Jean Mayodon, and Jean Dunand.
In 1911, Subes entered the workshop of the ironworker Émile Robert where he spent three years of his life. There he acquired a great deal of technical experience before taking over from the latter in 1919 as artistic director of the Borderel et Robert workshops (rue Damrémont, 18th arrondissement of Paris) specialising in metal carpentry. Raymond Subes later became president and CEO of the Borert company.
Working simultaneously with various materials such as wrought iron, sometimes bronze and copper, then in the 1930s aluminium, oxidised steel and lacquered steel, the ironworker combines traditional forging techniques with more contemporary methods. Thus, his creations present both the architectural function of wrought iron and its functional use.
The first work exhibited by Subes, a portable lamp, has been in the collections of the Galliera Museum since 1920. Since then he has never ceased to present his creations at this museum as well as at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs and the Salon d'Automne. His work at the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts earned him a grand prize and the ribbon of the Legion of Honour. In the same year, together with Ruhlmann, he presented a metal bookcase with deep-drawn and lacquered sheet metal surfaces in the Collector's Lounge. In the course of his career, Subes has been commissioned by the state on numerous occasions. When one thinks of his work, one thinks directly of the telescopic lampposts on the Carrousel Bridge, the ironwork of the Banque de France or the great Parisian restaurants (Lutetia, Georges V, Fouquet's). In 1958, Subes obtained the prestigious title of member of the Academy of Fine Arts.
His fame and the strong organization of work in his workshop explain the singular fertility of the master's production. But although he industrialized his technique and tools, he did not industrialize his talent and creative faculties.
The Martynoff Gallery offers for purchase an important wrought iron table lamp by Raymond Subes dating from 1930 as well as a chandelier cage that can make a coffee table. To be found on the gallery's website and within its walls.
Visual : Important Table Lamp By Raymond Subes, 1930, Wrought Iron, Decorative Art Period ; Important Chandelier Cage, Can Make A Beautiful Coffee Table © Galerie Martynoff