Kartell Mademoiselle Chair by Philippe Starck. An innovative design in terms of its clever and novel combination of materials. The base is transparent ploycarbonate with seat of sturdy yet flexible expanded polyeurethane. Mademoiselle is covered in unusually thick and soft fabric for added comfort and quality.
The 2 prints have been chosen by Rosita Missoni: Vevey, a cheery kaleidoscope of flowers available in two colourways and ‘Cartagena’ an elegant monochrome flower graffiti. Every chair has a different fabric placement meaning no two will be identical.
My weekends work completed… Copious beeswax polish applied to the latest chair purchase.
Arkana is a brand shrouded in mystery – very little information is available on them outside of the main themes known to fans of 1960’s modernist furniture of the Eames era.
Arkana was based in Falkirk in Scotland, a family business with representation as far as Denmark.
What I do know is they made a wide range of beautiful chairs and furniture in conjunction with Maurice Burke – some nice examples of which are below. If you know more do get in touch and provide more information.
I can’t remember the first time I saw these sculptures by Allen Jones, somehow they seem to have formed a blur in my mind with the The Korova Milk Bar scenery in the film A Clockwork Orange. They hail from the same era certainly. They have stuck in my mind ever since, overshadowing the rest of Jones’ career and work as an artist. Their influence can be seen right through to the shock tactic sculptures made by the Chapman Brothers in recent years.
Here however is a brief history of how these sculptures were made and some of the themes behind them (courtesy of the Tate gallery):
In 1969 three female figures by Allen Jones each slightly larger than life size,
‘Hatstand’, ‘Table’ and ‘Chair’, were cast in fibreglass in editions of 6 by
Gems Wax Models Ltd of Notting Hill, London, a firm of commercial sculptors who made (and make) shop window mannequins and sculptures for waxworks. Stylistically the figures are similar to those in Jones’s paintings of c.1967–8. For the figures Jones made working drawings from memory, not in front of a model.
From these drawings a professional sculptor, Dick Beech of Gems Wax Models, produced clay figures under Jones’s direction; these clay figures were modified in accordance with his intentions. He wanted to make sculpture ‘without fine art marks, devoid of fine art clothing’. When the first, ‘Hatstand’, a standing figure, was finished he realized that it might be construed as a bizarre window mannequin and so he decided to process the figure so that it would not appear to be just a decorative object. This he did by giving the other two sculptures a more obvious function, that of being a table and a chair, so that the viewer’s expectation of what could be fine art would be questioned and allow the viewer to perceive the figure anew as a subject in art.
In Jones’s view ‘because these 3 sculptures of women are recognisably representational it is less obvious that the sculpture is not about being naturalistic. They are not so much about representing woman but the experience of woman, not an illusion’.
With reference to his work in general Jones considers that:
‘ The erotic impulse transcends cerebral barriers and demands a
direct emotional response. Confronted with an abstract statement
people readily defer to an expert; but confronted with an erotic statement
everyone is an expert. It seems to me a democratic idea that art should be
accessible to everyone on some level, and eroticism in one such level’.
Jones considers that the three sculptures ‘Hatstand’, ‘Table’
and ‘Chair’ are the most radical statements that he has made.
Bonze is in the tradition of Starck’s playful and artistic products, with a reference to the 1930’s surrealist period. After having explored the stool under different technologies, moulded in polypropylene, moulded in lacquered ABS, rotation moulded, today XO explores ceramic materials but not any ceramic, a luxury ceramic, a ceramic in gold.
The face of a Buddha, a portrait of Lorenzo de’ Medici, a watcher in the night, awoken double of the Sleeping Muse by Brancusi, a stool, a coffee table. Bonze is everything of the above at the same time.
Retailing at approximately 500-600 euros it may be a little out of most people’s price range. For the savvy design fan though it is in situ in numerous bars and clubs across the globe – if you have spotted one do let me know!
Fancy a snout with your table? Well look no further than Moooi:
Material pig: fibreglass
Material top: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
Size: 77x167x60cm | 30.3″x65.7″x23.6″