With the exception of the smart phone, few household objects reflect the influence of design on our daily lives as much as the humble chair. Viewed through the lens of modern art and design, this ubiquitous piece of furniture tells a story of stylistic and technological evolution.
The Modern Chair, opening soon at the Palm Springs Art Museum, explores this evolution in an exhibition of 60 noteworthy chairs from public and private collections as well as the museum's permanent collection.
"During the last century," curator Brad Dunning told Palm Springs Life, "new industrial materials and technological and stylistic advances pushed chair design forward faster than at ay previous time."
From Frank Gehry's Beaver Chair and Ottoman, fashioned out of corrugated cardboard, to the timeless Side Chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames, the specimens range from comfortably familiar to fantastic. Together, they show how the chair has been reimagined again and again over more than a century.
“So much of design is cyclical and transitory,” Dunning said, “but a lot of the chairs that we’re showing are in the design zeitgeist now. There’s interest in them again.”