Marc Newson: Designing the Impossible

P H I L L I P S
Jun 7, 2013 3:23PM

"My mind’s totally visual. It’s stuffed with shapes I want to see but have to figure out how to make. I was obsessed by the Orgone shape for years. It’s fat, then skinny, and fat again. Yin and Yang." - Marc Newson

Marc Newson's 'Orgone Chair' was featured in a collection of handmade aluminum furniture which he presented in 'Wormhole', a 1994 solo exhibition in Milan. The collection comprised three other companion pieces including an 'Event Horizon Table', an 'Alufelt Chair' and an 'Orgone Stretch Lounge'.

The 'Orgone Chair' is a progression from Newson’s 'Lockheed Lounge' and reflects the designer’s expert use of aluminum as well as his ongoing investigation of new production methods and processes. The fabrication of the chair was undertaken by British coachbuilders specializing in the restoration of Aston Martins. Newson’s understanding of the construction and finish of these works is conveyed in his statement: "Subconsciously, I think I started leaving holes and spaces because it seemed such a shame to cover up some very high-quality manufacturing and finishing.” (Simon Mills, “Watch this Space,” The Sunday Times: The Magazine (London), 27 November 1994, p. 62).

Both the interior and the exterior of the work merge together creating a fluid and utile object with a liminal space that draws the outer surface inside and vice versa: there is an interstice where the interior voids become the exterior legs. He stated: "I do like the idea of creating negative space within forms" (Alice Rawsthorn, “An Australian in Paris,” Blueprint (London), no. 104, February 1994, p. 29). Since the 'Lockheed Lounge' Newson has been "forming metal into improbable shapes, into something that looks simple but is actually...impossible." (Blueprint, 1994, ibid).

'Orgone Chairs' are in the permanent collections of the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.

'Orgone Chair', will be offered in our Design sale, 11 June 2013, in New York.

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