May 28, 2007

Kid-Sized Molded Ply Chair By Gerald Summers [Yes, That Gerald Summers. No, Not That Chair.]

gerald_summers_plywood_chair.jpg

Gerald Summers was one of my first great modern design epiphanies, and my first big disappointment. When the groundbreaking exhibition, "Design 1935-1965: What Modern Was" came out in 1991, I discovered Summers' stunning armchair in the catalogue [which got to NYC before the exhibition itself.] molded back and forth from a single piece of plywood, Summers' chair looked impossible and obvious at the same time.

[Dope that I was, I was sure I'd just stumble across one in a Lower East Side junk store if I just kept my eyes open. Never mind that Summers' little London workshop only ever made 120 of them.]

Anyway, it was definitely an Aha! moment; not Aha! I love modernism, but Aha! the Swedish band who still totally own rotoscoping, thanks to their single hit music video. None of Summers' other work I found really interested me.

Gerald-Summers-Chair.jpg

But Andy did find a kind of cool-looking, kid-sized Summers design at Architonic. It's a barrel-shaped, birch side chair which was auctioned off at Rago last fall. It's got a bit of the moderne and a bit of the Biedermeier thing going on, which isn't bad. But it's still not the Summers children's chair discovery I'm waiting for.
c. 1933
Gerald Summers kid-sized side chair, sold Oct. 2006 for $3,600
[architonic via reference library]

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