The Artists We Lost in 2016
A fan of the adage “form follows function,” Vladimir Kagan made iconic furniture that seamlessly fused sleek design with the trappings of comfort. The son of a cabinet maker, Kagan injected a craftsman’s pragmatism into inventive, biomorphic couches, chairs, and tables inspired by plants and animals. Of his furniture’s sinuous contours and details, Kagan said, “The joints reflected roots and trees and bones and knuckle. . . . I used a lot of human anatomy . . . I created what I called vessels for the human body.” His unique pieces—such as the barrel chair and kidney-shaped couch—have been featured in prominent public buildings, corporate headquarters, and celebrity houses, including General Electric, the United Nations, and the homes of Marilyn Monroe and Gary Cooper.
German-American, 1927-2016, Worms, Germany