Bruno Mathsson: Architect and Designer

Overview

The sensuously undulant lines of Bruno Mathsson's furniture designs made him one of the leading figures of Swedish modernism in the 1930s. Chairs that adapted to their occupant with graceful natural curves became his trademark and have been in continuous production for more than fifty years. In his less familiar architectural work, Mathsson (1907-1988) applied the same principles of innovative comfortable living. Throughout his work the connections between design and ergonomics, aesthetics and innovative ...

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Overview

The sensuously undulant lines of Bruno Mathsson's furniture designs made him one of the leading figures of Swedish modernism in the 1930s. Chairs that adapted to their occupant with graceful natural curves became his trademark and have been in continuous production for more than fifty years. In his less familiar architectural work, Mathsson (1907-1988) applied the same principles of innovative comfortable living. Throughout his work the connections between design and ergonomics, aesthetics and innovative materials, energy saving and environmental concerns resonate for designers today.
This book surveys Mathsson's output as an architect and designer as well as his relationships with American architects and designers including Frank Lloyd-Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, and Hans Knoll. Extensive illustrations include unpublished photographs of his Mathsson’s work in situ.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Although Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, and Bruno Mathsson each pursued a modernist expression of the lounge chair in the 1930s, Mathsson was perhaps the first to develop the form fully with lightweight, bent, unstained wood in combination with linen, cotton, hemp, or leather webbing. This catalog by Widman (formerly chief curator of applied arts, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm), Karin Winter (curator, Swedish Museum of Architecture), and Nina Stritzler-Levine (director of exhibitions, Bard Graduate Ctr., New York) accompanies exhibitions at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture (spring 2007) and the Swedish Cultural Center, Seattle (summer 2007). In addition to presenting this Swedish talent's trademark chairs, it documents how Mathsson, as a minimally trained architect, designed modernist houses in a hybrid idiom reflective of the work of Richard Neutra, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Arne Jacobsen. (His later houses, with their corrugated plastic-roof vaults and modular planning, anticipate the work of Pritzker Prize winner Glenn Murcutt.) With fine-quality paper, a wealth of illustrations (historic photographs, color photographs of the furniture in situ, drawings, floor plans), expertly documented essays, a list of buildings, and an exhibition checklist, this first English-language volume devoted to Mathsson in several decades is recommended for all design collections.
—Paul Glassman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300121919
  • Publisher: Bard Graduate Center for Studies
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.72 (w) x 12.22 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Dag Widman was formerly chief curator of applied arts at the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Karin Winter is curator at the Swedish Museum of Architecture. Nina Stritzler-Levine is director of exhibitions at the Bard Graduate Center, New York.

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