[Knotted Chair, Marcel Wanders (Dutch, born 1963). 1995. Carbon and epoxy-coated aramid fibers, 28 x 19 3/4 x 24 1/2". Manufactured by Marcel Wanders. Gift of the Peter Norton Family Foundation. MoMA.]
Strolling through the High's courtyard last summer, I spied a miniature version of Marcel Wanders's Knotted Chair in the gift shop window. (It was Gerrie Bremermann's tablescape with the tiny Pedro Friedeberg hand chairs that made me rethink miniatures.) With Wanders's epoxy Crochet Chair up for consideration in the upcoming Collector's Evening battle, I wanted to revisit the macrame-like piece. Again, the intriguing thing about his work is how he makes the impossible possible, creating a chair that is intricate, refined, and lightweight, but at the same time unusually strong.
[17th-century Italian macrame. The Nuttall Collection, Gift of Mrs. Magdalena Nuttall, 1908. The Met.]
[Top left: Frida Kahlo's Portrait of Cristina, My Sister, 1928; image via WikiPaintings -- background here. Top right: John Singer Sargent's Figure in Hammock, Florida, 1917 The Met. Lower right: Fleur Wood Food, Fashion, Friends.]
Depending on how you look at it, the chair can feel feminine -- very out-in-the-garden with a tall iced drink.
[Photo by Chris Court.]
Or rugged. All about durable rope, nets and knots. Above is Sibella Court's interpretation from Nomad, the section featuring her Merchants & Traders color palette with inspiration drawn from travels through Damascus and even aged paper, too. Other materials emphasized here include linen and brick.
Speaking of woven things, check out this great looking Japanese basket in LACMA's collection and these striking African pieces. BTW, on Monday, January 16, LACMA is celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with free admission and family programming.