"Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan." - Eliel Saarinen
Juan Montoya, the famed Columbian interior designer, plans to sell select pieces of his modern furniture collection this April. Among the items listed for sale is "a rare chair by the American architect Paul Rudolph in acrylic and chrome, the floating angles of the chair reflecting the same ideas as his modern architecture."
The auction is being held at the Sollo Rago Arts & Auction Center, located at 333 North Main Street with Annex Gallery at 204 North Union Street, Lambertville NJ. For more information phone 609-397-9374 or visit www.sollorago.com.If you are interested in the chair (or the other items from Montoya's collection) you can bid in person, by phone, by left bid or online through the-saleroom.com and liveauctioneers.com. An exhibition preview will be held on Saturday, April 18 - Friday, April 24, 2009 from 10 - 6 pm and by appointment. Doors open at 9 a.m. the mornings of the sale.
This is not the first auction to feature furniture designed by Paul Rudolph. Christie's, Stamford and Wright Auction Houses have all sold work designed by Paul - a similar chair was featured in Chicago in Semptember of 2003. The auction's catalog included the following description:
Lucite, chromium plated tubular steel - 28.25"w x 24"d x 30"h
The present lot is an updated version of Breuer's iconic "Wassily" chair of 1927 rendered in Pop materials. It was never mass produced; the plexiglass furniture was only intended for use in Rudolph's private commissions. Identical versions were used in the interior of Rudolph's own apartment on Beekman Place in New York City and are now in the permanant collection of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
The chair, valued between $4,000-$6,000 - evetually sold for $8,000.
Paul Rudolph often designed furniture and light fixtures as part of his interior design projects, much like the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. He often used new materials (plastics, laminates) in innovative ways that were as much about experimentation as they were about fitting into his complex spaces.
The furniture shown above was constructed out of cut pieces of plexiglas attached to a modularized metal display system, meant for museum exhibitions, that Rudolph had found in Europe. Rudolph used the same system to design many types of chairs, tables, and even pedestals to display art work.
Visitors to the Modulightor open house in New York City can see many of the chairs and tables Paul designed while he was alive. Modulightor, a company Rudolph founded with Ernst Wagner to design light fixtures that Paul helped design, also offers copies of the chairs and tables for sale. If you are interested, please email the Paul Rudolph Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for prices - they are made of the same materials as the originals and at a fraction of the cost.