Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chairs: a new series?

I have a thing for chairs. I've been shopping for chairs in the last few weeks and my fascination with them is more evident than ever.

Here is what Ben Shahn did with chairs:

Ben Shahn, Still Music, 1948
I saw this painting at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington recently, and I was struck by the title. The repetition of the shapes and lines is very rhythmic, even musical, though of course the title also refers to the fact that these chairs and their accompanying music stands belong to the (absent) members of an orchestra. Here is a variation on the theme:

Ben Shahn, Musical Chairs, 1948
Outside the Hirshhorn were these beauties, arranged in groups on a terrace.

Later that day, at the Phillips Collection, I saw this grouping of eighteen works in gouache and India ink by German artist Georg Baselitz.

Georg Baselitz, La Sedia di Paolo,  1988
While lunching at the Garden Café at Washington's National Gallery, I was charmed by the lines on these sweethearts. I've since discovered these are actually called "Sweetheart Chairs". They remind me of Raoul Dufy's line drawings.

The outdoor sculpture garden at the National Gallery featured this striking piece:
Lucas Samaras, Chair Transformation Number 20B, 1996
patinated bronze
I am certainly not the first to be intrigued by the nature of the chair.

Vincent Van Gogh, Van Gogh's Chair, 1988
Franz Kline, Chair, 1950

Of course there are the Big Name chairs:

Eames chair, Charles and Ray Eames, 1956

The Egg Chair, Arne Jacobsen, 1958
The Tulip chair, Eero Saarinen, 1955-56

And then there is the piece I made earlier this year. Perhaps it will be the first in a new series?

Come Sit with Me, Georges Braque, 2016

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