Press Release: Exhibition 25 October – 23 November 2013
Made by hand: Danish Cabinetmakers 1945-1970
Dansk Møbelkunst Gallery is proud to present an exhibition highlighting the craftsmanship of Danish furniture art.
A unique feature of furniture making in Denmark in the 20th Century was the close collaboration between architects and craftsmen. A collaboration characterized by mutual respect and a striving towards the perfect harmony of workmanship, art and function. In Denmark modernism in furniture making did not mark a break with the traditions of the past, but evolved out of the handicraft tradition. In contrast to the more industrial visions of contemporary Continental design, Danish furniture art reached its greatest heights combining new idioms with a traditional partiality for wood and the meticulous care of fine craftsmanship.
The exhibition presents a selection of the best handmade furniture from the postwar period, chosen because of the exquisite workmanship that they display. The creative talents behind these pieces include renowned architects like Finn Juhl and Hans J. Wegner, yet the exhibition focuses primarily on pieces by designers who are less known, often due to their limited output.
Among them are Ejner Larsen & Axel Bender Madsen, whose “Game table” in rosewood and ebony from 1966 is one of the highlights of the exhibition. Made in close collaboration with the skilled cabinetmaker Willy Beck, it is the ideal example of design, cabinetmaking and leatherwork forming a refined synthesis. The table consists of a central square section - with a chess board - and four rectangular fold-out compartments that are lined in leather. The alternation between the beautiful wooden surfaces and the black leather appears as an abstract continuation of the chessboard pattern and makes the different intersections of the compartments both functional and decorative.
Another highlight of the exhibition is a rare pair of “T-chairs”, designed by Ole Wanscher in 1957 and made by cabinetmaker A. J. Iversen. The chairs are characterized by a sculptural simplicity, Wanscher at his best, but owe their elegant finesses, the slender top rail made of two pieces of wood glued at the center, to the master craftsmanship of A. J. Iversen.
The exhibition opens with a reception Thursday 24 October from 6-9 PM and continues until 23 November.