Untitled, 2000

Photo: The artist | © Bildrecht, Vienna, 2000

Table, seven chairs (steel, mirrored glass, wood)
73.9 x 133.5 x 133.5 cm (table)
81.5 x 52.5 x 50 cm (each chair)

Heimo Zobernig places his furniture / objects in various contexts between exhibition settings and everyday scenarios – thus de-essentializing the concept of the art object and creating situations of ambiguity and doubt. With the chosen chair model the artist relates to the tradition of industrially produced chairs and their most important designers of the 1940s and 1950s, Ray and Charles Eames and Arne Jacobsen. By varnishing in gold plywood bowl like chairs, and leaving the chrome frame in its original state, Zoberning breaks with the veracity of material defined by modernism. In an interview for the T-B A21 Collection book Heimo Zobernig says, "The form and color of the ensemble are inspired by the Braunschweig Kunstverein, where Karola Graesslin had invited me to remodel the foyer furnishings in 1999. The Haus Salve Hospes is a classical building, and I wanted to create my own classics. I had recourse to earlier works and wanted to execute them in a more solid way. So by reworking earlier ideas, I saw myself as a classicist. The colors used for the interior – gold, bronze, chrome, anthracite, ochre, beige, brown – originate from a classical palette and form a strange composition. (…) The chair I used does not really have an author anymore: it’s pretty straight forward, no jokes. I had one produced as a special edition in gold. The color breaks here with the truthfulness of modernism, which demands that surfaces demonstrate their materiality: in this sense, the plywood seat shells, lacquered in gold, are completely inappropriate. I’m interested here in the incongruities: the chrome frame vs. the golden seat, the rolled steel table legs vs. the brass mirror surface, and so on."

*1958 in Mauthen, Austria | Living and working in Vienna, Austria