George Nakashima Spindleback Armchairs with Ottoman
George Nakashima, armchairs, walnut, ivory fabric, United States, design, circa 1950.
These quintessential spindleback armchairs and ottomans are designed by Nakashima. The chairs feature spindles at the back, referring with this detail to the old Classic Windsor chairs.
The legs of the chairs and ottomans are executed in solid walnut, as is the rest of the design and they are circular and tapered towards the end. The design of this set is typical for Nakashima as it is Minimalist and robust by which the chairs stay close to the natural qualities of the wood and the tree that these items are derived from. The fabric is a light grey velvet and contrasts the warm, red patinated wood in a natural, modest manner. The production of the stools are of a later production than the armchairs.
The provenance, in the form of original order cards, is available on request.
George Nakashima (1905-1990) was a Japanese architect who was born in the United States. After having lived in Paris and Tokyo he moved back to the United States. He started studying forestry but after two years changed to architecture.
Around 1946 Nakashima made a business agreement with Knoll International that ended in 1954. Nakashima was a very spiritual and philosophical designer and he felt bound by a sense of duty to his work.
The basis of Nakashima's work was derived from his practice of Integral yoga. The primary goal of Nakashima's work was to live in harmony with nature rather than to destroy it for their own use. He worked from the shape of the tree instead of working towards a preset idea in his mind on what the piece should look like. He took inspiration from the Shakers and Le Corbusier.
His approach was always that of an artist, calling on creative energies from deep within. He therefore believed that architecture and design had nothing to do with 'styles' but instead with honesty of expression, truth in materials and good proportion resulting in a 'Fine plainnes'. Besides yoga, it was also the aesthetic of the Japanese tea ceremony that had a profound influence on Nakashima's approach to life, architecture and design.
Above all, Nakashima wanted to embody a message to all modern societies that we must constantly remember the eternal in all that we do. He often said of his own work that he gave trees a second life. His designs are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and are often 'signed' with dovetails and butterfly connections.
Measurements of ottoman: D 61.5 x W 61 x H 38 cm.