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The Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe
The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

Photo courtesy of ModernClassics.com
"A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous."
--Mies van der Rohe, In Time magazine, February 18, 1957

The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe was designed for the 1929 World Exposition in Barcelona. Mies van der Rohe used leather straps to suspend leather-covered cushions from a chrome plated steel frame.

Bauhaus designers claimed to want functional, mass-produced furniture for the working class masses, but the Barcelona chair was expensive to make and difficult to mass produce. The Barcelona chair was a custom design created for the King and Queen of Spain.

Even so, we think of the Barcelona chair as Modernist. With this chair, Mies van der Rohe made an important artistic statement. He showed how negative space could be used to transform a functional item into sculpture.
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