Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Apr 15, 2015 6:30 PM

Trends in Tubular: Tradition and Experimentation in Bent Metal Furniture

Join us for a conversation about the development, history, and contemporary echoes of the bent metal tube chair. Originating with the classic 1928 Breur Stam Chair, and continuing in countless themes and variations since, the bent metal tube continues to find new life in the work of contemporary artists, architects, and designers.

This event is part of a series of programs on the occasion of the exhibit Prague Functionalism: Tradition and Contemporary Echoes. A reproduction of the classic Czech 1931 Halabala Chair is on view in the exhibition.

Though Prague is most famous for its Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings, modern architecture became highly prestigious in interwar Czechoslovakia. The architectural avant-garde, increasingly supported by the middle class, designed a broad range of structures in the 1920s and 1930s, from tenement and family houses, to administrative buildings, schools, and even churches. “Prague was one of the most important centers of modern architecture and design in Europe during the interwar period, comparable with the Bauhaus in Germany or the architecture of the Dutch De Stijl group,” said exhibition curator Zdeněk Lukeš. “World famous architects like Adolf Loos and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe took part in projects, along with many Czechoslovak colleagues including Jaromír Krejcar, Kamil Roškot, Oldřich Tyl, Adolf Benš, and Bedřich Feuerstein.”

Following the communist putsch in 1948, the style fell into misuse; however, the Functionalist tradition has been continuously resuscitated, modified, and adapted by contemporary Czech architects. Today, the avant-garde’s legacy places an emphasis on austerity, elementary shapes, and a respect for structural logic.

Prague Functionalism will showcase architecture from the interwar period and contemporary projects inspired by these designs. The exhibition presents photographs and drawings of buildings both built and unbuilt, with texts by architectural scholars and researchers. It will also include models of historic and contemporary buildings and several reproductions of Jindřich Halabala furniture designs manufactured exclusively by Modernista.

Allen Glatter, Artist
Barry R. Harwood, Curator, Decorative Arts, Brooklyn Museum
Brent Lewis, Director, Wright New York
Jeffrey Osborne, Former Vice President of Design, Knoll
William Pedersen, FAIA, FAAR, Design Partner, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Organized in collaboration with AIA New York



321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Apr 15, 2015 6:30 PM


Czech Center

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