Posts Tagged ‘furniture design’

Artist of the moment………Gerrit Rietveld


Gerrit Rietveld was a Dutch furniture designer and architect. Rietveld is associated with the De Stijl movement. The movement emphasized straight lines and primary colors.

Gerrit Rietveld was born in Utrect, the Netherlands in the year 1888. As a teenager he was attended night school and also was an apprentice for maker of jewelry. During this period he learned how to model, draw, and to paint. He opened his own furniture production company in 1917.

Below a brief documentary on Gerrit Rietveld:

Some of his most famous designs were the famous Red and Blue Chair, the Zig Zag Chair, and the Schroder House. The Schröder House being the best and only example of De Stijl architecture.

The house was built in Utrecht for a client who lived in the house and passed away in the mid 80s. The house is now a museum and can be visited by the public and below we do just that!:


In this clip we explore his famous Red and Blue Chair:



Gerrit Rietveld passed away in 1964. He was 76 years of age.

Price range information: Drawings and posters can be found starting at $3,000 up to original woodcut pieces which can bring $50,000 at auction.

As a person who looks for artistic design in everything I think his chairs are incredible functional works of art. Its great to see a movement such as the De Stijl, that can be represented by a piece of furniture or even more fascinating, a house.




Artist of the moment………..Jean Royere


Jean Royere was a French artist and interior designer. Art was his second career, his first career was as an export and import dealer.

Jean Royere was born in the year 1932. Royere learned the art of furniture and design by taking classes in cabinet making at the age of 29 he started his artistic career.

The artist was highly popular with the elite and included the Shah of Iran and King Hussein of Jordan as clients. Royere had offices reaching from Latin America to the Iran.

Royere moved to the United States in 1980. He would remain there for the remainder of his life.

Jean Royere passed away in 1981.

Price range information: Works range from $3,000 to $60,000. Royere worked with metals, woods, iron, crayon, and watercolor and produced many mixed works over his lengthy career.

In this clip we view a sofa designed by Royere. The couch reminds me of the wonderful pink couch that guests would sleep in at Andy Warhol’s Factory:

Royere was a master at creating wonderful shapes in his furniture. Normal straight lines are given incredible curves and rounded lines rather than flat and boring edges.



Artist of the moment………. George Nelson


George Nelson was a contemporary American furniture and industrial designer born in Hartford, Connecticut in the year 1908. One of his famous designs was the pretzel chair. He was also known for the marshmallow chair and platform bench.

Below a wonderful clock designed by Nelson:



Nelson attended college at Yale University. He graduated with a degree in architecture and easily found employment before he graduated from college with a firm.

The beginning of his professional career he was mainly a writer appearing in many industry magazines. Nelson made great use of his position by getting to meet and exchange ideas with the leading industrial modernists in the world.

He also helped to write a book titled Tomorrow’s House. This book had some very new ideas about house design. Impressed by this book a representative from the design company Herman Miller offered a full time furniture design job to Nelson despite his having no experience at the position.

His contract was very generous because it allowed him to work outside the company if he desired. He was also able to collaborate with artists of his own liking. He would take the money earned and actually start his own design firm in New York City using the industries leading designers.

Nelson retired in the early 1980s.

Below another clock designed by Nelson:

George Nelson passed away in 1986 at 77 years old.

One thing that is important to remember about Nelson is that he was similar to a CEO in charge of a company, not always directly responsible. It was found out much later that designs that were given credit for being made by Nelson, were often times designed by someone else who was not given any credit.

This man was a very modern thinker when it came to design. He first developed the outdoor shopping mall so popular in American right now back in 1971.

Below a wonderful exhibit that took place at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art:

price range information: Sorry none available.

To close we take a look at another popular George Nelson design, the coconut chair:




Artist of the moment………Harry Bertoia



Harry Bertoia was a wonderful painter, furniture designer, printmaker, and kinetic sculptor. Bertoia was renown for working with metal wire and produced many smaller kinetic sculptures which resemble plants and trees.

These wonderful objects are brought more to life by a gentle breeze of wind. The period of time that Bertoia began to work with wire was in the 1950s when it was a brand new item.

Harry Bertoia was born in San Lorenzo, Pardenone, Italy in the year 1915. The artist first came to the United States when he was fifteen years old to visit a brother. The artist enjoyed the States so much he decided to stay and finish high school in the States. Bertoia attended the College for Creative Studies located in Detroit, Michigan.


In his works dealing with sound sculptures Bertoia was trying to capture the sounds and lines of nature. Here we take a closer look at some of his sound sculptures. This is a fantastic clip as it contains vintage footage of Bertoia playing his sound sculptures:

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 for prints to $250,000 for a large sound sculpture.

Here we check out some furniture designs by Bertoia. His most famous work in this area is the famed “diamond chair.” Bertoia gained a great deal financially from the production of his furniture designs.

What a wonderful artist and businessman.


Artist of the moment……Furniture Designer Paul T. Frankl


Paul T. Frankl was born in Vienna, Austria in the year 1886. Frankl was a furniture designer whose most famous series was his skyscraper series, the first picture in the gallery is a great example of a work in this series. Each desk was made to look like a very large urban building. This design was in the mid 1920s, Paul Frankl was one of the first Modernist Interior Designers.

Frankl arrived in the United States in 1914.

In this clip a discussion on cork as part of shoes and furniture from Daniella on Design. The section featuring Paul Frankl begins at around 1:55 into the clip:

In this clip a brief look at a desk produced by Paul T. Frankl:

His family made their fortune in real estate.

For his collegiate education Frankl studied architecture at the Berlin Polytechnic located in Berlin, Germany.

At his peak the artist ran two very successful home furnishings stores and galleries in New York City and Los Angeles, California.

Frankl was part of the teaching faculty at the Chouinard Institute located in Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California.

Paul Frankl passed away in 1958 at the age of 71 years of age.

Frankl had a daughter that went on to a successful writing career.

Price range information: Most pieces and sets priced between $3,000 to $20,000.

What an innovative artist who helped change the way people think about furniture, Frankl made it a work of art!




Artist of the moment……Philip and Kelvin Laverne



Philip and Kelvin Laverne were a father and son team in America that produced a large amount of cabinets and tables in the 1950s until the 1970s.

Philip Laverne studied with American painter John Sloan, learning to paint in a realistic manner. Philip lived from 1908 to 1988. Philip took the lead in materials and graphics design. Kelvin the son took the lead in deciding on basic form and how a piece was finished.

Their preferred method of working was to work using acid to etch into bronze. Each work looks as if a wonderful piece of art. I know I could never sit in one, or yet alone touch it.Many of these works have a far east or Egyptian feel to them. I immediately thought of the great English painter Sir  Lawerence Alma Tadema. Both have a great sense of design for eastern culture in paintings.

Kelvin Laverne studied at the Parson’s Institute located in New York City.

In this clip we view a great acid etched coffee table that breaks the $3,000 mark at auction:

Kelvin Laverne was born in 1938.

Price range information: Most furniture works range from $3,000 to $20,000. Philip was also an oil painter and works range from $3,000 to $8,000.

Another great family of artists!




Artist of the moment….Interior Designer Ron Arad

Ron Arad is a wonderful artist who is renown for his creative way of furntiture design. Ron Arad was born in Tel- Aviv, Israel in the year 1951. For his artistic edcuation Arad attended the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. He went on to study architecture in London, England for five years.

Brother is named Atar Arad who is a professional musician.

price range information:

1989 founded his own design firm with Carline Thorman.

First breakthrough into the world of creative furniture design was a chair named the Rover Chair. Much of his chair work is made from steel or chrome.

Another creative idea is a bookworm designed bookcase. The case is actually a peace of art that is installed into the wall and can be conformed to a specific shape.

As with the Dulce and Gabbana clip, the aritst has made many collaborative efforts including designing a chandelier with Swarovski crystal company.

Was the main architect for the Bauhaus Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In this clip Ron Arad is joined by the duo Dolce and Gabbana. A wide selection of works is shown:

In this clip we visit a show from 2009 at the Museum of Modern Art New York City:

I enjoy Arad’s work for me its a cross of modern furniture design with the whimsical feel of Jeff Koons large works.


Artist family of the moment….Claude and Francois- Xavier Lalanne….

Claude and Francois Lalanne were a French couple that specialized in sculpture. Both were internationally renown for their depictions of animals in three dimensions.


Claude Lalanne was born in the year 1924 in Paris, France. Claude Lalanne  specialized in what is termed as zoomorphic animals. I would characterize her work as very modern perhaps the works could be maquette for many of the creatures now found in many current science fiction movies. She also enjoyed giving her animals a sense of humanism by dressing them in human clothes. Here is a short gallery featuring some works of Claude Lalanne. Like her husband many works of art also double as mirros, tables, chairs, and benches.

claude claude1 claude2 claude4 claude5



Claude and Francois Lalanne also did collaborative work as a couple. Below is a wonderful example of their work in a sculpture garden. Its great to see the sculptures interacting with nature as the artists intended.


Claude Lalanne still lives and produces fantastic artwork living and working out of Ury, France.

Price range information: Claude Lalanne worked in bronzes with range from $20,000 to $72,000. Aluminum works can reach the low six figures. Works in copper are the lowest priced some close to $10,00o.

Francois- Xavier Lalanne was best known for his wonderful sculptures of sheep. In this great clip we see his signature works of sheep at auction with auction house Phillips de Pury. 

Price range for Francois- Xavier Lalanne: Lithographs can be found between $5,000 and $10,000. Most sculptures are priced between $10,000 and $50,000 but larger works are passing the $200,000 barrier at auction.

Francois- Xavier Lalanne was born in the year 1927 in Agen, Gascony France. For his artistic education Lalanne attended the Academie Julian in Paris studying drawing, painting, and sculpture. First major solo exhibition in the year 1952.

fran1 fran2 fran3 fran4

Francois started to do collaborative work with the artist Claude Depeux starting in 1956.

In comparison to his wife, his works can often double as furniture.

Spent much of his later years in life at an estate in Ury, France.


Married Claude Depeux in the year 1967.

Francois Lalanne passed away in 2008 at the age of 81 years old.


Fashion designers loved collected his art. Some famous designers that requested commissions were Yves- Saint Laurent, Pierre Berger, and Marc Jacobs. Another collector was the interior decorator Peter Marino.


Though the couple is often thought of as a tandem, the couple did few works together.


What couple immediately jumps to mind when working with three dimensions, sometimes in collaboration. The couple known as Christo and Jean- Claude. The couple were renown for their very large installations across the globe. In this clip the two talk about their project here in Colorado over the Arkansas River. This couple enjoyed working together and for a long period of time always took separate planes to locations, that way if the plane crashed one artist could continue their life’s work. What dedication! Christo is still alive today.

A quick sketch from their Colorado project.