While walking around the showroom, it occurred to me how often my gaze turned to all things bathed in red. Modern designs tend to have simple shapes and silhouettes, yet the mere addition of a bold color can turn any object into a statement piece — not only for a given room, but for the artist himself.
Each of the following lots bear an original shade of red, synonymous with the designer and iconic to the modern movement.
Lot 286, the Charles & Ray Eames Ten Panel Screen is drenched in their representative red aniline dye. If I say the words “Eames” and “red” this is the color that immediately comes to mind. This is what I love about Eames red: it is so powerful and so colorful and yet it doesn’t take over the room if you don’t want it to. The wood and the dye are constantly interacting, forming a communion between modern and natural.
The Jean Prouve Antony Chair, Lot 111, comes in a form that you may not have seen before. Many of us are familiar with the piece in its bare wooden form. Originally, however, the Antony Chair came with a colorful seat cover. As the chairs began to hit the retail market 15 years ago, sellers threw out any covers that were not in flawless condition, opting instead to show the bare wood, which is striking in itself. This tendency has made this chair with the original cover quite rare and desirable. Hence, the example in this auction is a rare opportunity to enjoy this chair in its original and intact form.
Lastly, one could not write a piece about original reds in design without mentioning Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature color, Cherokee Red. This auction features an outstanding example of the architect’s favorite hue with this side chair (Lot 274), custom designed for the legendary S.C. Johnson Wax Building. As Wright often covered his support beams and metal detailing with this color, I believe this reflects his love for Native American culture in particular and of the Southwestern landscape in general. I feel the reason he covered his support beams and metal work so often in this shade is because for him, it symbolized a monumental strength and solidity–not of a bland, modern gun-metal skyscraper or an artifact of old world dreary grey, but a color that captures the hope and exuberance of the American experience.
Charles & Ray Eames
Ten Panel Screen
Red aniline dye
Model no. FSW-10
Each panel: 67.7″ x 9.75″
Literature: Eames Design: The Work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, Neuhart, Abrams, 1989, pg 79
Estimate $8,000 – 10,000
Metal and molded plywood with vinyl cover
33.5″ x 19.5″ x 27.5″
Provenance: With Anthony Delorenzo, New York. Private Collection, acquired from above c. 1998-99.
Literature: Jean Prouve, Galerie Jousse Seguin, 1998. pg. 148-149.
Estimate $15,000 – 20,000
Frank Lloyd Wright
Made by Metal Office Furniture Company (later Steelcase, Incorporated)
35″ x 18″ x 20.5″
Custom designed for the S.C. Johnson Wax Building
Literature: Frank Lloyd Wright Interiors and Furniture, Heinz, St. Martin’s Press NY, 1994, pg 185
Estimate $20,000 – 30,000