Serge Roche (1898-1988)
The son of a renowned water-colourist and art dealer, Serge Roche was familiar from childhood with the numerous artists who frequented the family boutique, among them Picasso, Renoir and Pisarro.
Fascinated by the simultaneously masterful and invisible works of art that are frames and mirrors, Roche became their archivist and specialist, and devoted a gallery to them. His familiarity with the rococo furnishings and mirror cabinets of Baroque Europe, from Venice to Wurtzburg, led him to design and create furniture, objects and interior furnishings that were fought over by an exceedingly select clientele that included Chanel and Ali Khan.
Composed of stucco and mirrors, his consoles, obelisks, mantelpieces and decorative objects reinvented the diverse styles that fascinated him, each piece evoking the distortions of light and watery reflections created by old mirrors. Serge Roche’s works belong to the same category as André Arbus and Jean-Charles Moreux’s creations, for they too refused to see ornament as a crime. Today, all three artists are undergoing an important and deserved reappraisal.
Serge Roche, P. Mauriès, éditions Galerie Chastel-Maréchal-Le Promeneur, 2006