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Leonard Joel

Designer Chairs

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Bitossi- Italian for shape, colour and style

Over the last two centuries, the evolution of one particular piece of furniture has paralleled developments in architecture, reflected the changing needs of society, and encapsulated the history of design itself.  The chair, so inherent to every day life, is a connection both conscious and unconscious to the environments in which we live.

Not only are chairs functional to the physical, they are symbolic to status, fashion and architecture. Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, a designer from the famous De Stijl movement, designed some the greatest chairs ever made. Rietveld moved beyond functionality, reinventing pieces as if no one had ever built them before. The Zig Zag chair designed in 1938 and the Red & Blue chair designed even earlier in 1918 are some of his most famous works.

 Reyer Kras, curator of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam writes that Rietveld was evidently conscious of the fact “that formal order has nothing to do with the precalculated strictly repeated sizes and proportions, but rather is exclusively the domain of a good eye.”

Another name synonymous with grand designs is Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known best as Le Corbusier, a recognised pioneer of modernist architecture who began experimenting with furniture in 1928 after inviting Charlotte Perriand to join his studio. Perriand a young modernist architect herself was trying to pave her way in a somewhat
suffocated mans aworld. She would eventually in time be recognised as the creator of many of Le Corbusier designs.

The most famous of Le Corbusier chair designs were the LC2 and LC3 collections designed in 1928. Reversing the standard structures of sofas and chairs with an externalised tubular steel frame filled with thick resilient pillows. The idea was to offer all the comfort of a padded surface while applying the elegant minimalism and industrial rationale of
the movement.

The grand designs of Rietveld, Corbusier and Perriand are still remarkably relevant to how we live today, and almost 90 years later their aesthetics still work within our environments. Italian manufacturer Cassina has exclusive worldwide license to all the designs and produce them under their Masters Collection. Each piece is signed and numbered, always to be honoured and remembered.

Anna Grassham
Head of Modern Design


Modern Design Auction
Monday 30 July, 6.30pm, Melbourne

Melbourne Viewing
333 Malvern Rd, South Yarra VIC
Wednesday 25 July, 9am-8pm
Saturday 28 July, 10am-4pm
Sunday 29 July, 10am-4pm

Melbourne Enquiries
Anna Grassham
Head of Modern Design
03 8825 5637 | 0415 076 480
anna.grassham@leonardjoel.com.au

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