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Chair Figure

1989 Carl Dern Born: Salt Lake City, Utah 1936 Died: San Francisco, California 2009 welded steel 21 1/4 x 3 5/8 x 2 1/4 in. (54 x 9.2 x 5.7 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Theodore Cohen in memory of his mother and her sisters: Rose Melmon Cohen, Blanche Melmon, Mary Melmon Greenberg and Fanny Melmon Liberman 1998.122.4 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 52B


Luce Center Label

Chair Figure is from a series that Carl Dern created in the mid-1980s to explore the human figure as “an archetypal form.” The artist wanted these works to capture the sense of imagination that children enjoy when they draw stick figures. The chair appears to be held aloft, as if on the upraised arms of two acrobats or jugglers. Very quickly, however, the sculpture begins to suggest a complete human figure on stilts, or a tightrope walker, striding through the air.

Keywords

Object - furniture - chair

sculpture

Crafts - Metal

metal - bronze