Mart Stam

Dutch, 1899-1996

Mart Stam

Dutch, 1899-1996

Mart Stam’s cantilevered chair made from standard steel pipes and elbow joints represented a sea change in the design of domestic furnishings, and it inspired some of the most celebrated chair designs of the 20th century. The Dutch architect introduced the chair, which literally brought industrial materials into the home and subverted the dominant fashion for upholstered furniture, at the Wießenhofsiedlung—the 1927 exposition of model homes and interiors that embodied a radically modern lifestyle. While a small group of designers had also started experimenting with tubular steel, Stam was the first to devise a cantilevered seat, upending the traditional notion of a chair supported by four legs. Marcel Breuer produced a design so similar to Stam’s that it continues to fuel controversy, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was directly influenced by Stam when he created the Brno Chair (1930), a cantilevered design made from bent steel bars.

Selected career achievements
group
Group show at a major institution
Museo Reina Sofia
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
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