Galerie May

Kneedler Fauchère brings the de rigueur Parisian collection to San Francisco
Sculpture-based long thin table.

Above Image: The artful Arpp console in bronze, patinated metal, and marble, designed by Charles Tassin.

By Aliette Boshier

A short stroll from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris is a showroom whose unobtrusive black facade, in quiet contrast to the Lutetian limestone of the rue de Lille, belies the opulent wonders that lie within. Founded in 2012 by Charles and Maylis Tassin, an interior designer and a painter, respectively, Galerie MAY is known for highly inventive furniture that combines an uninhibited passion for 1970s luxe and early mid-century modern with the best of traditional French craftsmanship.

Tassin interiors are defined by an insouciant but forward-facing feel that adroitly blends a range of 20th-century decorative references and one-off antique finds to create a glamorous mise-en-scène which is both intriguingly seductive and totally unique—think 17th-century carved oak tables paired with hand-tufted geometric rugs, turquoise vases, and silk lampshades lined in gold. Plush carpets, gleaming metals, and soothing velvets abound, with an emphasis on exquisite artisan-made pieces in marquetry, lacquer, and ceramics. The whole effect is so effortlessly soigné that you half expect to find Alain Delon lounging on an oversize sofa, cigarette in hand.

Modern comfortable living room with brass accents.

A Parisian salon privé for fashion designer Alexandre Vauthier designed by Charles and Maylis Tassin featuring the Dorr mirror, Martt sofa, Heronn table lamp, and Soff floor lamp. Photo by Eve Campestrini.

Its finger ever on the pulse, historic multiline showroom Kneedler Fauchère will soon be representing Galerie MAY—the gallery’s first-ever representation in the U.S.—with a collection landing in Los Angeles at the end of March, followed shortly after by Denver and San Francisco. It’s a match made in heaven for CEO and Creative Director George Massar, who has been acquiring their pieces with his husband, interior designer Thomas Hamel, for a number of years. As showroom President Gina DeWitt says, “Many of us at KF have been fans of Galerie MAY for quite some time. We’d always envisioned their distinctive designs in our showrooms.”

For the installation, the team at KF have selected some personal favorites, along with pieces that the Tassins felt best embodied their singular vision. The star of the show is surely the extraordinary Arpp console, which suggests the abstract buoyancy of Henri Matisse’s paper cutouts through an interplay of solid matter and empty space. Meanwhile, there is a calm synergy to the opposing halves of the Soff floor lamp, whose undulating, metallicized form suffuses any room it graces with an aureate glow.

Sculptured upholstered chair on left and floor lamp with two adjoining bases and multi-layered shade.

“The star of the show is surely the extraordinary Arpp console, which suggests the abstract buoyancy of Henri Matisse’s paper cutouts through an interplay of solid matter and empty space.”

The colorways are warm and sophisticated—butterscotch, oatmeal, bronze—as seen in the Tedd armchair in cream bouclé by Pierre Frey and the overlapping gilded layers of the Trippl coffee table. The use of plaster and stone in lighting like the Batt sconce and Stonn table lamp provide organic textures where needed, while the anthropomorphic Dorr mirror brings a hint of whimsy reminiscent of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne’s surrealist designs.

Closeup of small wall art piece on left and sculptural upholstered chair against stylized wall.

For the Tassins, collaboration is the lifeblood of their practice, both in terms of their own rigorous creative process, and the contemporary artistic talent they champion through their work. It seems only fitting therefore that Kneedler Fauchère, with its progressive vision and origins in French-American partnership, should be their ambassador.

Galerie MAY available through Kneedler Fauchère.

Two Henry Adams Street, Suite 2M-33
San Francisco, CA 94103