Finn Juhl

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Chair designed by Finn Juhl in 1945, relaunched in 2003. Manufactured by House of Finn Juhl in Denmark.

In the Autumn of 1945, Finn Juhl presented the 45 Chair at the annual Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition. Today, the chair is widely regarded as one of the most revolutionizing and iconic pieces within Danish furniture design. Finn Juhl dreamt of studying art history and his deep understanding of international contemporary art is abundantly clear in the bold 45 Chair. With its curved backrest and organic shape this chair cemented Finn Juhl as one of the leading designers of the 20th century.

In a review on Finn Juhl’s stand at the exhibition in 1945, the architect Erik Herløw wrote; “Most interesting about the exhibition is probably Finn Juhl’s work. After many years of experiments, we now see a clarified result. Finn Juhl does not design on a refinement of traditions but has instead logically solved functions and therefrom shaped furniture on his terms. In the early years, Finn Juhl’s attempts seemed exaggerated, but now it is so much more interesting to observe the result he has achieved by going his own ways. Most beautiful is an armchair, where the frame is organically shaped as a bone, able to support the muscles of an arm and the weight of a body. The expression of the chair is reminiscent of a weapon, sharpened by human hands.”

The 45 Chair is a true masterpiece and has become an icon of Finn Juhl’s universe of furniture. With this chair, Finn Juhl managed to create an, at the time, unseen design by separating the carried and the carrying elements. In reality, Finn Juhl had previously experimented with separating the upholstered parts from the wooden parts within his furniture, but with the sleek, strong and elegant 45 Chair this unique design characteristic manifested.

On the 45 Chair the space between the frame and the seat creates a lightness, which combined with its organic shape and sublime detailing, ensures unique beauty and floating elegance. The chair appeals to all senses and pleases the eye and body alike. Furthermore, the 45 Chair has been called “the mother of all modern chairs” by the Japanese professor and design collector Mr. Noritsugu Oda.

The groundbreaking 45 Chair became the prelude to the unfolding of Finn Juhl’s characteristic style of design that we know from the latter part of the 1940s. During this period, his designs are characterized exactly by liberating the seat and backrest as a single unit carried by the frame. This approach became a defining moment in establishing Finn Juhl’s status as a pioneer within furniture design.

Production delay:
8-9 weeks

Important information regarding color(s) of products:
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About the designer:
Finn Juhl was born on January 30, 1912 in Copenhagen. He wished to study art history, however, his father would not allow it. Instead, Finn Juhl began studying architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. Here, he studied under some of the most influential functionalists of his time. Among these was the great architect Vilhelm Lauritzen who hired Finn Juhl at his own studio in 1934 before Finn Juhl had even graduated. Eventually, the work took up all of his time and Finn Juhl never finished his studies. Later in life he always described himself as a self-taught furniture designer.

One of the international highlights of Finn Juhl’s career was designing the complete interior of the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN headquarters in New York between 1951 and 1952. His sculptural furniture is widely appreciated all-over the world. Today, Finn Juhl is still considered the father of Danish Modern, the design movement from Denmark, that arose during the 1950s in the United States. At the time of his death in 1989, Finn Juhl had become an award-winning and highly respected international furniture artist.

Finn Juhl was greatly inspired by both modernism in art and functionalism in architecture. His genius was cross-pollinating these two fields, thus creating a completely new artistic idiom. Like sculptures, Finn Juhl’s designs are created to stand freely in a room. At the same time, they are developed with a playful insight into the practical function of every detail.

About the manufacturer:
In 2001 House of Finn Juhl trusted with the exclusive rights to manufacture and relaunch Finn Juhl’s sculptural and iconic furniture by Finn Juhl’s widow Hanne Wilhelm Hansen. Today the unique Finn Juhl collection consists of more than 40 Classic masterpieces, all of which they manufacture with the utmost respect for the original heritage and strict demands for quality.