FABULOUS CONTEMPORARY CHAIRS FROM THE MONTREAL MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS

Last Thanksgiving, my husband and I took a road trip up to Montreal, Canada (see post.) We had a fabulous time despite the 7 degree weather. One of the spots we most enjoyed was touring through the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal , aka The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.The museum is a cluster of buildings connected by underground passages so you never have to exit outside…very clever idea considering the weather.

 

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CONTEMPORARY AND TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SAME CHAIR HAND ON THE WALL AT THE MONTREAL MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS.

 

Being as it was cold, we actually never left the museum the entire day, even having lunch at the lovely restaurant inside the museum’s main building, which served above par food for a museum restaurant.  Ah, the French…

 

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NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE/ “Fauteuil Clarice” 1981-1982

 

The collections throughout were excellent.  I was titillated to see many artisans I had written about featured in the Decorative Arts and Design pavilion exhibition.  As covering the entire collection of the Museum would be impossible, I thought I might dwell for a moment on the fabulous chair collection to be found in this pavilion.

 

SHIRO KURAMATA/ "Fauteuil Miss Blanch 1988

SHIRO KURAMATA/ “Fauteuil Miss Blanch 1988

 

Okay, I need to confess to one and all that I am a chair junky! If you have ever visited my house in Fire Island you would know that there is an  English Pilgrim chair from the 1850’s, a pair of Italian reclining chairs from the 1950’s and a steer horn chair I designed in the 1980’s in my living room.  And that is just the beginning of the chair story!

 

ELIZABETH GAROUSTE & MATTIA BONETTI/ "chaise Prince Imperial" 1995

ELIZABETH GAROUSTE & MATTIA BONETTI/ “Chaise Prince Imperial” 1995

 

This contemporary chair collection is quite extensive and representative of the best of the best in contemporary design.  One must remember that many of these chairs are artistic creations and not always to be sat on, or at least to be utilized in the typical way we do in our homes.  However, there were also an assortment of iconic chairs that have come to be part of the “bread & butter” of the contemporary design world.

 

GAETANO PESCE / "La Mamma Armchair & Ottoman 1969

GAETANO PESCE / “La Mamma Armchair & Ottoman 1969

 

What titillates me the most is the imagination these designers had…the sky (and the materials and the colors) is the limit.  Several of these lovely ladies can still be purchased today from the original companies that made the designers famous. I love how so many of these designs just improve with age, like a good wine. What seemed so avant-guarde and way out there years ago is easily integrated into today’s modern interiors, whether as a utilitarian chair or as a sculpture.

 

ALESSANDRO MEDINI / "PROUST'S ARMCHAIR" 1931

ALESSANDRO MEDINI / “PROUST’S ARMCHAIR” 1931

 

If you adore chairs the way I do you really ought to find a way to make a trip up to Montreal and visit the museum. It is definitely a worthwhile visit for anyone interested in contemporary interior design.

 

BERNARD RANCILLAC / "Elephant" 1966

BERNARD RANCILLAC / “Elephant” 1966

 

FERNANDO CAMPANA & HUBERTO CAMPANA/ "Cake Stool" 2008

FERNANDO CAMPANA & HUBERTO CAMPANA/ “Cake Stool” 2008

 

RICARDO DALISI / "Mariposa Bench" 1989

RICARDO DALISI / “Mariposa Bench” 1989

 

 

 

YANNICK POULIOT / "Empire: possesif" 2007

YANNICK POULIOT / “Empire: possesif” 2007

 

As my mantra has always been  “I never met a chair I didn’t like…” you can certainly see why I so thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit.  And, as they say about many, many things, chairs come in all sizes, all materials, all colors…it just depends on the designer’s dream.

 

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Ciao, ciao ’til next time!