Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chair Passion

When Marc Newson’s groundbreaking aluminium sofa, Lockheed Lounge, was sold at auction for over a million dollars, it ended up as the star attraction in the first exhibition at a gallery not far from where I live in New York. This is no ordinary art gallery, although it is in New York’s art district, Chelsea. We’re talking about Sabastian + Barquet who specialize in twentieth century design. A visit to this showplace is a design history lesson. I have always been a huge fan of twentieth century furniture and have managed to collect a number of classic chairs including How High The Moon by Shiro Kuramata, Eero Aarnio's Bubble chair, and a couple of great examples by the Eames. I have a special passion for chairs, as does my good friend Jorge Oller down in Costa Rica. I think it is because of the intimate and yet shared associations they have with people’s lives – more than tables, lamps or sideboards. The scrape of a chair being pulled up to the family dining table is one of the most evocative sounds in my world. I also love the ghostly presence of previous owners adding a frisson of mystery. Ramis Barquet has an amazing collection of more than 700 pieces of modern furniture, but the gold standard of collecting in the field has got to be the Vitra Design Museum near Basel, Switzerland. There, in a perfect Frank Gehry designed building, you can see even more of the best of modern furniture design.

3 comments:

joller said...

Passion means love and... madness. Kevin, Alexandra and myself just got the UP5 from Gaetano Pesce, by B&B. Don't miss it! It's a female figure tied to a ball-shaped ottoman, symbolizing the shackles that keep women subjugated. Passion for chairs, passion for design, passion for life, passion for friendship, passion for passion.

Un abrazo, amigo.

Anonymous said...

My original post lost itself, or I lost it...

I am curious as to why you employed "groundbreaking" as a descriptor. Is it the design? The parallel of name/material with Lockheed/material? The interpretation of material/design against theme? Did it move through structural problematics in new/innovative ways?

My questions should not be taken as holding critique but as open questions aimed to explore your statement.

I agree that chairs are items of utility and potential beauty that we hold above all else in a home - even our beds. I think they represent so much from our childhood and so much about family and society. They 'cradle' and support. At the same time they can fall to the floor unable to sustain what we are. I have been frightened of the odd chair or two I must admit.

Susan

Susan956 said...

joller...Your post reminds me of a sometimes favourite topic of mine.. choice. Vive :-)