Maria Pergay was born in Moldova to Russian-Jewish parents and at the start of World War II, Pergay and her mother fled to Paris, where she studied costume, set design, and sculpture at the Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques. After graduating in the 1950s, Pergay worked as a window designer for Parisian shops, such as Dior and Hermès, while creating her own silverwork. She opened her own atelier in Paris in 1960.
Pergay’s furniture designs explore the tension between the modern preference for unornamented, functional pieces, handcrafted, with elegant furnishings. Her trademark use of stainless steel, a material used during the Space-Age era, to create sensual undulating daybeds and delicate, curved chairs exemplifies her ability to design strikingly modern furniture with a touch of antique luxury. Her strong individualistic style is inspired by naturally occurring patterns in water such as shells and waves, Japanese art, and the materiality of stainless steel.
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