Alessandro Mendini for Studio Alchymia, 'Proust's Armchair', designed and executed circa 1978 hand painted decoration to readymade chair 107 cm.
Lot 235AR
Alessandro Mendini for Studio Alchymia Proust's Armchair designed in 1978 and executed 1981 hand painted readymade Height: 107 cm. 42 1/8 in.
Sold for £46,850 (US$ 79,896) inc. premium
Auction Details
Alessandro Mendini for  studio Alchymia " Proust's Armchair" circa 1980
Lot Details
Alessandro Mendini for Studio Alchymia
Proust's Armchair
designed in 1978 and executed 1981
hand painted readymade
Height: 107 cm.
42 1/8 in.

Footnotes

  • This work was privately commissioned by the present owner directly from Alessandro Mendini in 1981.


    EXHIBITED
    Milan, MIM Design Showroom, Robot Sentimentale, 1981
    Rome, MIM Design Showroom, Robot Sentimentale, 1983

    Robot Sentimentale, was a performance based exhibition designed by Mendini and Studio Alchymia and held at the showrooms of Italian furniture company, MIM. The exhibition examined the challenges presented by the changing nature of the office environment and MIM's response through the launch of the Eulero System, a range of transparent furniture suited to open plan landscapes and advanced technological needs.

    Alessandro Mendini discusses this model and the exhibition in The Story of the Proust Chair, 2001:

    'I found an appropriate ready-made in the replica of an eighteenth century armchair, and chose a detail from a Signac painting for the pattern that covers the whole armchair, from its fabric to the wooden parts, dissolving its shape into a kind of nebula. Besides the idea of obtaining a piece of design based on input that is unusual in a normal design process, I also wanted to reach a different type of result, i.e. to make a culturally grounded object based on a false one, seeing that the redesign in this case has been performed on a piece of kitsch, a fake-antique armchair that is still being mass-poduced today... In 1981, with Alchimia, I designed the installation "Robot sentimentale" for MIM, which was held in the Milan showroom. On that occasion three chairs were custom made.'

    The present lot is one of these examples. Not only is this one of Mendini's most important works it is always one of the most iconic pieces of design from the latter part of the 20th Century.
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