André Renou was born on May 24, 1912, in Perigny sur Yerres (Seine-et-Oise).
He was a student at the École Boulle from 1926 to 1930, where Sognot was teaching, and focused particularly on sculpture.
He participated in the International Exhibition of 1937. André Renou joined "La Crémaillère" in 1930 and became its President-Director General in 1941, and since then, he has worked in close collaboration with Jean Pierre Génisset, and their activities cannot be separated. André Renou was a member of the U.A.M. Committee, a Sociétaire of the Salon d'Automne, and served as Vice-President of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs from 1950 to 1953. In 1951, he was a lecturer at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs.
Jean Pierre Génisset was born on November 16, 1911, in Paris. He attended the École des Arts Appliqués from 1928 to 1931 and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs from 1931 to 1934. He participated in the organization of the exhibitions in Liège in 1929 and Berlin in 1931, representing the Schools of the City of Paris. He designed sets for "Pauline ou l'écume de mer" by G. Aroux and "les oeufs de l'autruche" by Roussin (Théâtre de la Michodière). He was a member of the U.A.M., the Société des Artistes Décorateurs, and the Salon d'Automne. He joined "La Crémaillère" in 1933, where he collaborated closely with Renou since 1941.
Renou and Génisset have exhibited together since 1946 at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, Salon des Arts Ménagers in 1950, 1951 (presenting Formica), and 1952; at the exhibitions "Preuves" and "Les fleurs dans la maison" in 1952; they were in charge of a section at the Artistes Décorateurs and the "Preuves" exhibition; they were selected for the Milan Triennale in 1951. They were commissioned by the state (Mobilier National) to design a minister's desk. They created furniture ensembles for King Iben Saud, furnished a hotel, and designed numerous private residences in Dakar.
The collaboration between Renou and Génisset was born out of a shared taste, convictions, and principles aimed at creating a work in which each individual, while contributing to the whole, asserts their personality according to their respective training. Renou is the wood technician, while Génisset is the imaginative colorist, particularly interested in presentation. Both of them are deeply committed to the U.A.M. They appreciate balance, logic, and purity, with logic implying a necessary functionalism.
Although they have definitively rejected mere decoration, which they believe only disrupts the purity of volumes or masks the beauty of materials, they seek to humanize their works, making them sensitive and animated through the use of colors and rhythms.
Furthermore, they attach great importance to the intimacy of the atmosphere. They share the same attraction to new materials such as plastics, Formica, rilsan, and nylon cane, without excluding metal, glass, or rattan. They also wish to imbue their creations with a character of human authenticity, achieved through a happy balance of proportions and technical refinements, ensuring that their works endure without becoming outdated or aging.
It should be noted that "La Crémaillère" has become a sort of testing ground for decorative art. Combining a curious understanding with a fairly audacious taste, they have recognized and distinguished the works of now-renowned artists, including Noll, Roulot, Fjerdjigstade, Bakst, and more recently, Jean Colin. Thus, through their own works, the contributions from external sources, and the quality of their presentations in exhibitions and shop windows at "La Crémaillère," Renou and Génisset play a determining role in the evolution of contemporary decorative art.
Sources : Mobilier et Decoration N°2 de 1954