Iver Bertelsen, ‘Bent Plywood Swivel Chair’, 1945, Patrick Parrish Gallery

USA

About Iver Bertelsen

Iver Bertelsen is primarily known for the bent plywood swivel chairs he designed for American furniture manufacturer Steelcraft during the period immediately following WWII. Recalling the modernist plywood chairs of Alvar Aalto and Marcel Breuer, Bertelson’s stripped down, bare-bones design reveals its construction and is devoid of superfluous decorative gestures. Wartime restrictions on materials and labor spurred innovation as designers sought to develop well-made but affordable home furnishings that could be cheaply and easily mass-produced. This spirit of frugality led Bertelsen, along with designers Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, to use bent or molded plywood, a malleable, lightweight, and inexpensive material.