Live Auction, 7 October 2019

Sold for

R 62 590
Lot 441
A Danish teak, oak and caned 'SW 96' easy chair designed in 1956 by Finn Juhl for Søren Willadsens Møbelfabrik

Lot Estimate
R 55 000 - 60 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
R 62 590

About this Item

A Danish teak, oak and caned 'SW 96' easy chair designed in 1956 by Finn Juhl for Søren Willadsens Møbelfabrik


the caned back and seat between sculpted outcurved arms, on turned tapering supports joined by a front and back stretcher, on protective caps, Bruun Rasmussen paper label

 

The chair can be considered the ‘acid test’ of designers. In its simplest form it is a structure that supports a body off the floor. It has become a symbol in our society that is associated with identity and power, thus this ‘simple’ structure has been elevated to become imbued with personal expression. The designer has the ability to give it further expression and thereby reflect the age, society and period during which it was created, leaving behind a legacy for society to enjoy and reflect on.

This Finn Juhl chair was only produced in small numbers and is the reflection of an age where furniture underwent a change. Danish modern design moved towards the simplistic, the negative space and industrial designs versus the heavy and ornate styles of previous periods. Finn Juhl moved towards exposing the raw elements of the chair. His design shows an almost seamless way of joining and shaping the wooden structure in order for it to appear soft, without losing its masculine appeal. Known for his ‘floating’ designs, this chair does not strictly fit into this category. Nevertheless, by using an almost transparent material, the sitter experiences a floating sensation. Not only are his designs comfortable, but are further transformed into statement pieces, identities in their own right which we today term as 20th century design. Finn Juhl was a teacher at the School of Interior Design in Copenhagen up until 1955, the year before this chair was manufactured. He became better known outside Denmark, making a definitive impression on the American market where abstract expressionism was emerging, and he is now considered to be one of the greats in design history. By combining the influences of his architectural training, those of abstract sculptor, Jean Arp, and of African art, he created some astounding designs. This chair is a classic Finn Juhl expression that is almost self-explanatory in its construction and a distinctive expression of his style. It was further exhibited as part of Søren Willadsens Møbelfabrik's 50th anniversary. It is an example of a period that asks us to look beyond the functional in favour of the identity and mastery behind each piece, the strength of construction, the visual appeal and how the chair carries the human body.

Provenance

Sold: Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhagen, 24 October 2018, lot 536

Literature

Oda Noritsugu, (2012), Finn Juhl, Corona Books, Japan, illustrated on page 70

 


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