Axel Einar Hjorth 'Lovö' Lounge Chair in Solid Pine
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Axel Einar Hjorth, wingback lounge chair model 'Lovö', pine, floral fabric, Sweden, 1932
Sturdy high back ‘Lovö’ chair in solid pine by Axel Einar Hjorth. This chair has all classical elements of a wingback chair, yet due the execution in natural pine wood, it gets a new character. By the natural look of the wood and its simplistic design, this chair has a modern character. The seating cushions are upholstered in a floral fabric.
An important role in Hjorth’s oeuvre are the so called ‘Sportstugemöbler’ (weekend cottage or lodge furniture). In the late 1920s Hjorth was criticized for only designing furniture for an exclusive clientele rather than for the broad mass. As a response to this, Hjorth designed the ‘Sportstugemöbler’, a series of low cost, serial produced pieces in solid pine. At that time, weekend cottages were booming and Hjorth designed furniture especially for those houses. The multiple series were named after Swedish islands or regions like the ‘Utö’, ‘Sandhamn’ and ‘Lovö’ series. Most ‘Sportstugemöbler’ were manufactured locally which is why they don’t feature the NK label. All series included different seating elements, storage facilities, tables etc. to furnish the small homes. Visually interesting is that Hjorth managed to leave his neoclassical style behind and designed thought-through, minimalistic and functional furniture in pine. Yet, all series feature individual details that prove the eye and knowledge of a great designer.
Renowned Swedish designed Axel Einar Hjorth (1888-1959) studied at the Higher School of Art and Design in Stockholm. Although he never graduated, Hjorth found his way into the world of furniture design. The absence of a diploma did not stand in the way of a successful career. Hjorth worked for the Stockholm City Trade Association from 1918 onwards. At the same time he collaborated with small, Swedish manufacturers. Milestone of Hjorth’s career was his position as chief architect and designer at Nordiska Kompaniet from 1927. The high-class department store NK was one the most important furniture manufacturers for exclusive Scandinavian furniture. In the same year that Hjorth started to work for Nordiska Kompaniet, Hjorth, Carl Malmsten and Carl Hörvik were presenting their designs at the exhibition of Contemporary Swedish Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. Two years later, Hjorth showed his ‘Louis’ and ‘Caesar’ series at the World Exhibition in Barcelona. Hjorths’s early oeuvre is characterized by a very decorative, neoclassical style that followed the so called ‘Swedish Grace’. Exclusive materials and great craftsmanship were combined with classic forms to design furniture for an exclusive clientele. At the same time, Hjorth designed more modernist designs.
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