In the May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction, LAMA sold a desk and organizer by the designer (Lot 63) that realized $50,000 and set a new auction record for the model.
About The Artist
Although the words “Danish” and “modern design” are practically synonymous today, this wasn’t always the case. Denmark—and the design world at large—has a clutch of pioneering designers to thank for this equivalence. Perhaps one of the most well known and celebrated of these trailblazing designers was Hans J. Wegner, whose pioneering designs helped bring about the union of form and functionality, quality and comfort that we now so readily associate with the sensibilities of Twentieth-Century Danish Modern.
Along with fellow Danish master craftsmen Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Børge Mogensen, Verner Panton, and Poul Kjærholm, Wegner pursued gracefully tapered, solid-wood designs that embraced modernist principles of ergonomics and aesthetics in a style now commonly identified as organic functionalism. A Wegner chair is recognizable by token of its highly stylized, whimsical contours evocative of forms commonly found in the natural world. Although Wegner did not name the pieces he created himself—leaving the naming to manufacturers—his pieces inevitably have been given quirky names that reflect the strong allusions to natural forms that they inspire. Take his “Wishbone” and “Peacock” chairs, for instance—both of which remain household names to this day. The former, with its elegantly curved hind legs, elliptical top rail and graceful Y-back, provides a comfortable seat while being easy on the eyes and playfully bringing to mind the object after which it is named; similarly, the latter, which was inspired by a traditional Windsor chair, delights with its sculptural wooden “plumage,” which also serves an ergonomic end.
Wegner collaborated with many manufacturers over the course of his long career, most notably with firm Carl Hansen & Søn, who helped produce— and to this day continues to manufacture—the now iconic CH24 “Wishbone,” or "Y-chair," as it is sometimes called. “The Chair,” arguably the minimalist pièce de résistance of Wegner’s oeuvre, famously assumed a brief, but significant stint in American politics, when Vice President Richard M. Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy sat down in the design in 1960 to hash it out during the first nationally televised presidential debate.