Glass Chair

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Object Name: 
Glass Chair
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 88 cm, W: 90 cm, D: 60 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
Shiro Kuramata’s iconic Glass Chair is one of the most influential furniture designs of the 20th century. A breakthrough concept, and one that is profoundly true to its material, Glass Chair set a precedent for the direction of design in glass, in which the simplicity, transparency, and seeming weightlessness of the material are emphasized. Born in Tokyo, Kuramata studied architecture and interior design. In 1965, he established his own design practice in Tokyo. As an interior designer, he designed more than 300 bars and restaurants. Kuramata’s approach to designing objects reflects the atmosphere of innovation in postwar Japan. By 1970, Kuramata had introduced alternative materials, such as acrylic and glass, into his furniture, which explored ideas of materiality and form. A functional piece of furniture, Glass Chair consists of sheets of glass bonded on their edges, with no screws or mounts, using a revolutionary ultraviolet adhesive that had just become available. Its design was partly inspired by the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick (American, 1928–1999), which Kuramata had watched and enjoyed. However, Kuramata was disappointed that, although the sets looked “futuristic,” Kubrick’s choices in furniture did not.* Kuramata’s solution was this minimalist armchair, stripped down to its essential elements, which appears to be both visible and invisible. The chair has a certificate of authenticity from the Kuramata Design Office, signed by Mieko Kuramata. Published: Deyan Sudjic, Shiro Kuramata, London and New York: Phaidon, 2013, cover, pp. 86, 93–94, 211, and 297, no. 184; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Shiro Kuramata, 1934–1991, Tokyo: the museum, 1996, fig. 3; and Shiro Kuramata and Arata Isozaki, The Works of Shiro Kuramata, 1967–1981, Tokyo: Paruko Shuppan, 1988. Edition 34 of 40 *Deyan Sudjic, Shiro Kuramata, London and New York: Phaidon, 2013; “How Shiro Kuramata Was Inspired by Kubrick’s 2001,” Phaidon, (accessed January 1, 2015).
Friedman Benda LLC, Source
Primary Description: 
"Glass Chair". Colorless float glass, Photobond 100 adhesive; cut, assembled. Industrial float glass, cut. Armchair composed of six pieces of cut float glass (back, seat, two sides, and two armrests), assembled with Photobond 100 UV adhesive.
Discursive Design: Critical, Speculative, and Alternative Things (2018) illustrated, p. 69 (fig. 5.9);
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 36) (2015) illustrated, p. 114 (top); BIB# AI99415
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2014 (2015) illustrated, pp. 52-53 (#36); BIB# AI100547
Design: Shiro Kuramata: Collection Zeev Aram (2014) illustrated, pp. 4-5, 38-39, lot 119; BIB# 139424
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2014 (2014) illustrated, pp. 8, 47; BIB# 706293
Shiro Kuramata (2013) illustrated, cover of v. 1, pp. 86, 93-94, 211 (should be 210), 297 no. 184; BIB# 141109
Masters of Modern Design: A Critical Assessment (2005) illustrated, p. 154;
Shiro Kuramata 1934-1991 (1996) illustrated, fig. 3;
The Works of Shiro Kuramata 1967-1981 (1981) illustrated