Salone del Mobile, the world’s premier design event, usually offers an endless amount of content on-site — expect hours, days and weeks of avant-garde lamps, funky tables, colourful stools and all sorts of quirky homeware. This is why it may seem surprising, and almost refreshing, that the outspoken creative director of Loewe, Jonathan Anderson, stripped things back to the basics. The pinnacle of this year’s fair is one of the most humble home objects in existence: the chair.
It is, of course, not just a seating apparatus made for your comfort and well-being. Loewe turned its roving attention to the stick chair, an unsung hero of the living room that is nevertheless an indelible part of history. Thirty of them, 22 of which are vintage, were wrapped, imagined and coiled in leather, foil, shearling or raffia. These exhibits were also covered in Loewe-approved colours that lift the quotidian furniture item to its rightful status as a flashy art piece.
In Anderson’s world, the simple household staple is celebrated for its aesthetic and the way it moves the economy. Despite centuries of expertise that go into making a singular object, chair manufacturers and craftsmen have been either propelled to prosperity or driven out of business.
Each item in this exhibition is the result of a respectful dialogue between the artisans, their preferred medium and the object, resulting in a stunning display of woven decoration. View the collection here.
This article first appeared on May 1, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.