With the rise of such colossal icons of 20th century modernist style as Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and Frank Gehry, the boundary between design and art became blurred, especially for everyday objects like furniture. The form and function of furniture design garnered recognition as an important aesthetic factor of built space. Wright was sometimes so meticulous in his architectural designs that they not only included accompanying site-specific furniture, but custom-designed clothing to match the look and feel of the building as well.
Consequently, this modernist obsession with elevating industrial design to an art form has also led to an explosion of movements and styles that find artistic meaning and expression through design’s functionality. Below is a list of 10 interesting contemporary artists creating sculptures that either make use of or play on the idea of furniture, provoking us to think about the relationship between habitable space, industrial design, and art.
Stuhlhockerbank by the German artists/designers Yvonne Fehling and Jennie Peiz is a delightful play on form and function. Their approach to objects is a marriage of the complementary and the contradictory: “While the old and traditional served as the basis for the new and the innovative, these highly inviting and joyful conversational structures blend the intimate with the public, the historical with contemporary art and design, and the ordered with the random.”