Eric Schmitt was born in Toulouse in April of 1955. In 1997, after living in Paris, he left to live and work at the edge of the Fontainebleau forest. It is in this workshop that he began to create, design, and shape the models that were then entrusted to the best craftsmen, before they were returned for finishing. A self-taught master of wrought iron, he now works with a team that enables him to collaborate with architects, interior decorators, and landscape designers on private and public projects. Reviving in a modern way the French tradition of Decorative Arts, his creations are often made to measure or short series of numbered objects.
"A piece of furniture needs to exude silence so it can be loved for a long period of time," says Schmitt, who hates to reveal himself, and thus prefers to let his objects do it for him. The naive arch of a marble cabinet or the soothing silhouette of a “Jarre” table is meant to evoke a childhood spent in the Poitou region of France, near the Romanesque churches; his early iron pieces, hammered and welded by hand, are almost primitive; when he chooses to abandon all ornaments, it is done through the lens of balance, or its apparent loss, enacted in tables and consoles made of folded bronze, or in materials that contrast the rigidity of metal; the curves that he relentlessly refines create a vocabulary of form, underlining the vision of a utopian eternally dissatisfied; and always, the chiaroscuro, the lightness and the density, the fusing of the past and future. Timeless in their apparent indestructibility, Schmitt’s objects appear as though they are the remains of a civilization, yet to be invented.
Schmitt had his first shows in Paris at the galleries En Attendant les Barbares and Neotu in the late1980’s and his first US solo show in 2006 at Ralph Pucci International. In 2010, he had his first gallery solo show at Valerie Goodman Gallery — “Bohemian Series” — which featured 30 bronze and blown glass vases, created specifically for the gallery, and displayed with floral arrangements by fleursBELLA. His work can be seen in numerous magazines and publications, including Architectural Digest, Wallpaper, Elle Décoration and Madame Figaro.