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Furniture > Chairs

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'How high the moon' armchair by Shiro Kuramata, 1986
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Object statement
Armchair, 'How high the moon', steel, designed by Shiro Kuramata, Japan, 1986, made by Vitra, Germany, 2003
A Tokyo-based designer, Shiro Kuramata was widely influential in Japan and Europe during the 1970s and 80s. Specialising in the design of furniture and interiors his aesthetic combined Japanese simplicity and clarity with a European-like preoccupation with non-traditional materials and forms. Kuramata was particularly interested in experimenting with plastics and metal and with creating furniture and lighting that not only blurred the boundaries between function and 'art', but also transcended cultural divisions. Consequently many of Kuramata's designs are both functioning object and sculpture and it was his play with this duality that impacted on such designers as Philippe Starck, Ron Arad and Marc Newson.

Kuramata's prolific, but short, career included the design of many boutique interiors for Issey Miyake, collaboration with the Memphis group in the early 1980s and individual object designs for specific clients and projects in Japan and Europe. Since his death in 1991 a number of his designs have achieved 'iconic' status. These include his terrazzo tables for Memphis, 1983, 'How high the moon', 1986 and the superb, clear acrylic 'Miss Blanche', 1988 which was produced in a limited edition and now fetches prices in excess of $50,000 at auction.

'How high the moon', named after a jazz piece by Duke Ellington, is a poetic abstraction of a traditional armchair whose shape is further 'dematerialised' by the planes of see-through mesh of which it is constructed. The chair is produced in a limited edition by Vitra and is a highly appropriate example of this important 20th century designer's work for the collection. Stylistically the chair expresses links to a Japanese abstractionist sensibility as well as referencing western designers' mid 1980s interest in minimalist metal furniture, reflected, of course, in Marc Newson's 'Lockheed Lounge' of 1986.
Designed by Shiro Kuramata, Japan, 1986. Made to order by Vitra, Germany, 2003.
Ordered directly from the manufacturer, Vitra.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Armchair, 'How high the moon', steel, designed by Shiro Kuramata, Japan, 1986, made by Vitra, Germany, 2003

Armchair made entirely of sheets of nickel-plated steel rib mesh, the form of the chair reduced to an abstraction of a traditional armchair shape with the backrest and arms the only curved elements in an otherwise rectilinear design; the whole resting on four cylindrical mesh legs.
2003/82/1
Production date
1986
Height
720 mm
Width
820 mm
Depth
945 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Purchased 2003
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: https://ma.as/12216
Cite this object in Wikipedia
Copy and paste this wiki-markup:

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/12216 |title='How high the moon' armchair by Shiro Kuramata |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=2 October 2016 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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Object viewed times. Parent IRN: 2129. Master IRN: 2129 Img: 148525 Flv: H:2831px W:3508px SMO:0 RIGHTS:.