Just One Good Chair

Oct 17, 2014 2:43PM
Just One Good ChairHatje Cantz's pretty much perfect new book on Hans J. Wegner, undisputed master of Danish chair design, begins with this 1952 statement by Wegner: "If only you could design just one good chair in your life… But you simply cannot." Over the course of the next 250 oversized, heavily illustrated pages, the reader is treated to more than 500 designs, each more refined and lighthearted than the next. The design of the book is sophisticated and clean; the writing, by Designmuseum Danmark's Christian Holmsted Olesen, is alive. "All that talk about 'the chair'—it's nonsense," Olesen quotes Wegner from 1992. "Because the chair isn't there. I have the feeling that the more I work on it, the more it keeps moving farther and farther away. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. You can't make something definitive. Only people who don't understand what it's all about say so. I still think it can be done better—maybe with just four equal sticks." Buy this book and other seminal publications on the history of chair and furniture design, atARTBOOK @ SWISS INSTITUTE, opening Tuesday evening, 6pm, at 18 Wooster Street.
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