Poul Kjaerholm (Denmark 1929-1980)

“We should try and keep our designs as simple as possible.” Poul Kjærholm first apprenticed as a cabinetmaker but was drawn to the possibilities that furniture design held. His design career truly took off in 1952 while commencing his education from Copenhagen's School and Arts and Crafts, Kjærholm’s final project caught the attention of the Danish design community. Kjærholm’s project included a lounge chair created from a single piece of steel that illustrated the kind of material expressiveness that would soon become the signature of Kjærholm’s creations. Understanding and looking forward to the potential of steel, PoulKjærholm brought revered Danish craftsmanship and industrial materials together for his formidable PK series of furniture. "Steel's constructive potentials are not the only things that interest me," said the designer. "The refraction of light on its surface is an important part of my artistic work. I consider steel a material with the same artistic merit as wood and leather." Wood had long been the bellwether of Danish design and Kjærholm modernized one step further by so gracefully integrating the new and the old with simply beautiful results. Kjærholm experimented at length with a mix of new and old materials and modern production techniques. Kjærholm had a real talent for bringing out the best characteristics of all of the materials he used. Kjærholm’spieces have a strong sculptural quality with an understated, subtle quietness that makes them ideally suited to sit alongside art. In 2004, New York's Museum of Modern Art(MOMA) installed Kjærholm’s daybeds, tables and chairs in the galleries and restaurant. Kjærholm emphasized use and wear in all of his furniture and he focused on materials that were durable and would likely improve with age.

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