October 18, 2018 two armchairs by Renzo Zavanella were sold at Phillips for £35,000 while estimated between £18,000 – 24,000.
The green PP530 Tub Chair by Hans Wegner I saw in the Design Museum Danmark in Kopenhagen.
PP Mobler about it:
Conceived in 1954 the Tub Chair was a pioneering experiment, and it turned out to be the most advanced shell chair design Wegner ever did, as the back of the chair is a complicated double bent shell comprising two individual shapes: One that is bent and one that is both bent and twisted.
Even besides the complexity of the back, the Tub Chair is a unique fusion, where Wegner merge the moulded plywood technique with upholstery and traditional work in solid wood and even adding a metal angle adjustment mechanism for the back. It is one of the most striking and brilliant examples of Wegnerâ€™s vision and courage, and still it is a most practical, usable and comfortable chair.
However, the Tub Chair was not technically possible to produce in a rational way within the lifetime of Wegner. As our techniques have developed, PP Møbler has been able to produce this great tribute and introduce this bold design in celebration of the 100 years anniversary of Wegner, one of the greatest designers of all times.
The black one I found at the auction site of Phillips where an early model was sold for UK pound 50,000 in October 2015
The Catalogue about it:
The present lot is one of two known period examples of the ‘Tub’ chair, a model which did not enter into wider production during Hans J. Wegner’s lifetime. The chair seat is composed of two pieces of fabric-covered moulded plywood. It rests on a dramatically angled oak base and is supported by a brass mechanism that allows for adjustment of the back angle. Its complexity prohibited fabrication in greater number, though it was included in the 1954 Cabinetmaker’s Guild exhibition in Copenhagen. The chair is a notable example of Wegner’s explorations into the possibilities of plywood, but ultimately the demands of employing both laminate and solid wood construction concurrently were too great and he chose to focus on the latter.
The design of the ‘Tub’ chair shares the intuitive elegance of Wegner’s other furniture, and references certain features of his most well-known chair designs specifically. While structurally more elaborate, the clamshell-form seat relates to the ‘Peacock’ chair (1947) and the forceful forward movement of the base to the ‘Folding’ chair (1949). The ‘Tub’ most closely anticipates Wegner’s ‘Shell’ chair of 1963. It is notable that even a decade after the introduction of the ‘Tub’, the ‘Shell’ form was still considered too radical for its time. It was following the ‘Shell’ chair designs that Wegner closed the chapter on his experiments with plywood. However by 1989 it was picked for the cover of the catalogue for the exhibition celebrating Wegner’s 77th birthday and has since become one of his most iconic masterpieces. The present chair is consequently a rare illustration of some of his earliest career-defining ideas.
This Longitude Chaise by Maya Lin was sold at Phillips as Lot 38 for $3,250. It had an estimate of $5,000 – 7,000. It belonged to her “the Earth is (Not) Flat” series.
About Maya Lin
In 1981, at age 21 and while still an undergraduate, Maya Lin won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, beating 1,441 other competition submissions. The black cut-stone masonry wall, with the names of 57,661 fallen soldiers carved into its face, was completed in late October 1982 and dedicated on November 13, 1982. It is granite and V-shaped, with one side pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and the other to the Washington Monument.
Lin’s conception was to create an opening or a wound in the earth to symbolize the gravity of the loss of the soldiers. The design was initially controversial for what was an unconventional and non-traditional design for a war memorial. Opponents of the design also voiced objection because of Lin’s Asian ethnicity, her being female, and her lack of professional experience. The memorial has since become an important pilgrimage site for relatives and friends of the American military casualties in Vietnam, and personal tokens and mementos are left at the wall daily in their memory. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects ranked the memorial #10 on their list of America’s Favorite Architecture.
Lin believes that if the competition had not been “blind”, with designs submitted by number instead of name, she “never would have won”. She received harassment after her ethnicity was revealed. Prominent businessman and later third party presidential candidate Ross Perot called her an “egg roll” after it was revealed that she was Asian. Lin defended her design in front of the United States Congress, and eventually a compromise was reached. A bronze statue of a group of soldiers and an American flag was placed off to one side of her design.
A video from her lets you think about the environment:
Sold at Phillips on December 13, 2016: Four side chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro. Sold for $16,250.
About Joaquim Tenreiro
Joaquim Tenreiro (1906-1992) is the pioneer of modernist Brazilian furniture making. A forerunner in the use of rediscovered raw materials as well as the creator of a new formal language in 20thcentury Brazilian furniture design, he drew on the lessons of past furniture making as a vital source, not only in the mastery of technical and constructive solutions, but also in the aesthetic experience, craftsmanship, and the cultural meaning of his production. His exquisitely crafted pieces evoke a refined coexistence of traditional values and modern aesthetics, strongly bound to the Brazilian cultural milieu.
Born in Portugal to a family with a great tradition in furniture making, he moved to Brazil in 1928 at the age of 22. He embarked on a career as a designer by working at various furniture manufacturers such as Leandro Martins, Francisco Gomes and Laubisch & Hirth, which catered to wealthy Brazilian families eager to buy furniture with a conservative design that imitated traditional European styles. Tenreiro’s vast experience in arts and crafts as well as furniture design was naturally contrary to such bourgeois expectations. Explicitly reacting against what he perceived as provincialism of a colonized society, Tenreiro proposed a contemporary language and advocated the idea that Brazilian furniture should be “formally light…A lightness which has nothing to do with weight itself, but with graciousness, and the functionality of spaces.”
In the early 1940s, Tenreiro founded his own furniture studio, Langenbach & Tenreiro Ltda, where his work began to gain more recognition. However, it was not until the 1950s that he began to be recognized as a master furniture designer in Brazil. His design philosophy found a great response with architects who supported modernism. Tenreiro found in Oscar Niemeyer his greatest client, designing furniture for his houses and completely breaking away from the virtuosity of antique styles. He developed a language adapted to the country’s heat, using wicker and Brazilian hardwoods in abundance.
In spite of his success and his professional recognition, Tenreiro closed his furniture studio in 1967 and decided to devote himself exclusively to fine arts, taking up once again a path that he had discontinued long before. During the next following decades until his death in 1992, his works were included in many art and design exhibitions held at renowned galleries and museums in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. A forerunner in the truest sense of the word, the “father” of modern furniture in Brazil left behind an unrivaled aesthetic legacy.
Via R and Company
Lathe II by Sebastian Brajkovic is for sale at Phillips on a December 13, 2016 auction in NYC. Estimate is $15,000 – 20,000.
Update: Not Sold!
About Sebastian Brajkovic
Sebastian Brajkovic investigates the notions of perspective and distortion of form through his sculptural furniture pieces. This interest in the rotation and skewing of an object originated from his childhood, when reel-to-reel tape decks and car wheels were such a source of overwhelming intrigue to the young Brajkovic that his parents wondered if he might be autistic (he was not).
As he matured his fascination manifested itself in painting and sculpture, eventually resulting in the creation of the Lathe series of tables and chairs, which have been identified as a modern classic of design and reside in the permanent collection of institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and the Museum of Arts and Design (New York).