|selected by Craig Nutt
Lark Books: 2008
Paperback, 408 pp., $24.95
If you think you've seen all that can be done in designing chairs, think again. Lark Books' 500 series steps into the furniture world with gallery photos of everything from the bizarre to the the purposely mundane in human seating. There are rockers and stools, sackbacks, ladder backs and adirondacks, but there is also a cast bronze seagull chair, and a metal seat bristling with nails to 'make a statement and get people talking.'
A reader can skim the book for amusement, but you'd miss a lot if you didn't examine the photos closely. Tom Loeser presents a group of similarly painted chairs in three rows of three, taller in the back, a row of mid-height chairs, and shorter at the front. A first impression might be of Goldilocks and the 'chair just right,' but the artist titled it 'Chair Cubed.' Okay, three times three, nine chairs. But..not only are sizes and chair backs altered, the dimensions of parts are, too. Slimmer legs and wider spacing on the left chair rails, lead across to more massive construction on the right. From back row to front row, large ovals, round circles and smaller elipses on the chair backs lead the eye forward and down the rows. The effect is of a cube, slanting downward to the left and slanting forward from back to front, though all nine chair seats are at the same level. It is a mind boggling display with construction details mathematically incremented for the effect of the whole.
Selected by studio furniture maker and sculptor Craig Nutt, these 500 pieces are an amazing representation of the creativity and originality of the world's most innovative builders.
. . . Barb Siddiqui