Jan Slothouber & William Graatsma (Dutch c20th+)
Five rare modular cubes from the 1970s.
The Dutch team of Slothouber & Graatsma established themselves from the 1950s as artist/designers with the cube form as their key motif around which they developed various principles of cubic construction alongside multiples and variations thereof. Despite its restrictions they admired the cube for its clarity of form. They applied their thinking around it to a variety of objects, and artworks from small jewellery-scale 3d models and games to larger installation works.
Highly driven personalities, they considered themselves as discoverers of ‘the many applications of the democratic system of cubics’; a system that would ostensively act to counter the rise of the expressive individualism in post-WWII culture. (They later established the CCC_the Center for Cubic Constructions as a forum for promoting their ideas).
Due to their diverse and multidisciplinary output they were never to become global names – But they were a highly respected creative team (representing The Netherlands at the Venice Biennale in 1970)…Donald Judd for one was a great admirer of their work.
Elmar Berkovich (NL. 1897-1968)
A pair of very rare oak armchairs designed by Elmar Berkovich. Originally designed for the workers at the Shell factory although used in various environments thereafter.
They are made from an unidentified wood that is close to oak but has a very light weight to it. They were designed to be clipped together and exported easily for the factories in Dutch East Indies colonies. (Although the frames are now glued together).
Literature: Elmar Berkovich – meubelontwerper en interieurarchitect. Stichting BONAS.
Alvar Aalto (Finland 1898-1976)
Early edition Finmar / Bowman Bros. dining set. Five model 611 stacking chairs and table. This was Aalto’s first modernist chair produced.
This set came from the home (wife) of Russian /American composer Dimitri Tiomkin best known for his western scores, including Duel in the Sun, Red River, High Noon, The Big Sky, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and Last Train from Gun Hill.
The set was once black but has been restored and taken back to the wood colour.