Just One Good Chair: 100th Anniversary of Hans Wegner
“Hans Wegner: just one good chair” highlights more than 150 original pieces, offering an overview of his entire design process. The exhibition at the Designmuseum Danmark celebrates the 100th anniversary of Hans J. Wegner’s birth. It shows drawings, models and photos to give viewers a better understanding of his working methods and vast oeuvre.
Hans J. Wegner (1914-2007) was one of history’s most prolific designers producing a total of over 500. He was a leading figure in Organic Modernism and was referred to as ‘The King of Chairs’ – or the ‘Chair Maker’. The Designmuseum Danmark is celelbrating the 100-year anniversary of his birth with a large exhibition, opening on the 3rd of April 2014.
Wegner’s work always took its starting point in craftsmanship, and he produced nearly all of his own prototypes in the workshop. His life is best understood as an enduring mission to understand the logic and the potential of wood. He showed the modern world that the old virtues of craftsmanship, such as sensuality, beautiful detailing and the use of natural materials, also have a place in the modern industrialized world. Wegner’s approach to design was neither retrospective nor romantic, but his furniture was nevertheless full of poetry – which is why his designs, despite the fact that they are wholly rational and grounded in functionality, have remained popular right up to the present day, even escaping criticism from the postmodernists. In our late postmodern times, Wegner in many ways represents a more human route into modernism.
The exhibition tells the story of Wegner’s life and career, showing more than 150 of his major original works from the time, drawings, photos and models, exploring Wegner’s working methods and vast oeuvre. It is also possible to try out and touch over 50 newly produced Wegner-pieces in the exhibition. Along with film and furniture, by some of his contemporaries, like Charles & Ray Eames, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen and Mies van der Rohe, the exhibition shows how the finest wooden furniture is made.
Designmuseum Danmark | “Wegner – just one good chair” | 3 april – 2 november 2014
Credits (text & photos): Designmuseum Danmark/ Pernille klemp