A COLLECTION OF FURNITURE
Knoll Associates: A COLLECTION OF FURNITURE DESIGNED BY MIES VAN DER ROHE. New York: Knoll Associates, Inc., 1964. Original edition. Slim quarto. Photographically printed thick stapled wrappers. 16 pp. 9 black and white photographs by Herbert Matter. With 4 pp. illustrated price list [October 1964] laid in. Small scrape to cover lower fore edge and a couple of tiny age spots to textblock. A near fine copy.
DESIGNED BY MIES VAN DER ROHE
Knoll Associates Catalog
8.5 x 11 saddle-stitched brochure with 16 pages and 9 b/w photographs devoted to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's furniture designs for Knoll Associates. Original illustrated price list laid in. All furniture designs are identified by name, dimensions and specifications. I suspect this information could be useful to some people out there.
This scarce original brochure needs to be seen to be truly appreciated. A first-class production, from the crisp printing, sensitive typography, photo editing, grid layouts -- all elements come together to produce an excellent design artifact for the ages. Herbert Matter's original Corporate ID Design is very much apparent, from the stylized Knoll "K"to the fine-arts Sculptural approach to photographing the furniture. Looking at this catalogue, it's easy to trace the evolution of the Knoll Visual Identiry from Matter's European Avant-Garde origins to Massimo Vignelli's European Modernist neutering.
Includes a full-page plate by Andre Kertesz of the Barcelona Chairs and Table in Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, CT. " I have had Mies van der Rohe chairs now for 25 years in my home. They're not very comfortable chairs, but, if people like the looks of them they say, ‘Aren't these beautiful chairs,' which indeed they are."– Philip Johnson
The modern city, with its towers of glass and steel, can be at least in part attributed to the influence of architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969). Equally significant, if smaller in scale, is Mies' daring design of furniture, pieces that exhibit an unerring sense of proportion, as well as minimalist forms and exquisitely refined details. In fact, his chairs have been called architecture in miniature exercises in structure and materials that achieve an extraordinary visual harmony as autonomous pieces or in relation to the interiors for which they were originally designed.
Mies van der Rohe began his career in architecture in Berlin, working as an architect first in the studio of Bruno Paul and then, like Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, Peter Behrens. In the mid-1920's, he began to design furniture, pieces that he conceived and created for particular interiors. In 1927, he met Lilly Reich, a Bauhaus alumnus who collaborated with Mies on his first versions of a cantilevered chair with a tubular steel frame. The cantilevered chair had a curved frame that exploited the aesthetic, as well as the structural possibilities of this material. Their experiments culminated in the virtuoso Brno chair designed between 1929 and 1930 with a chromed flat steel frame.
Two years later, Mies and Lilly Reich designed what is perhaps his most famous creation. Created for the German Pavilion at the Barcelona International Exhibition, the Pavilion chair was intended as a modern throne; a thick cushion upholstered in luxurious leather and set upon a curved metal frame in the shape of an X inspired by classical furniture. Perfectly proportioned and finished, the simple chair exuded an air of elegance and authority.
In 1938, Mies emigrated from Europe and moved to Chicago. The rest of his career was devoted to promoting the Modernist style of architecture in the U.S., resulting in rigorously modern buildings such as the Farnsworth House and the Seagram Building, designed with Philip Johnson. Perhaps the best summation of his work is Mies' own: thoughts in action.
A sample spread from this volume can be viewed here.
out of stock