Johnny Swing - Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale New York Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Literature

    Johnny Swing: Change, exh. cat., Rabih Hage Gallery, London, 2010, n.p.
    Johnny Swing: Murmuration, exh. cat., Sebastian + Barquet, New York, 2012, throughout

  • Catalogue Essay

    The third design in Johnny Swing's coin furniture series begun in 1995, the "Half Dollar / Butterfly" chair is constructed of 1,500 U.S. half dollars held together with 7,000 welds. Swing was originally drawn to coins for their availability, having had the experience that "the hardest thing with found objects is finding enough of them." (Tim Johnson, "Johnny Swing's Unmatched Passion," Burlington Free Press, June 10, 2012)

    While his earlier work also relied on assembled materials, the coin furniture series constituted a material departure in Swing's choice of coins, which are immaculately joined together into a smooth-surfaced sheet that he has compared to fabric or skin. In explaining his use of re-purposed materials, Swing puts himself on a continuum with other assemblage artists like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol. Swing can also be considered a part of American folk art and studio craft traditions. The coin furniture series further adopts the exposed interior functions and structures of postmodern architecture, as well as postmodern furniture's inventive forms.

    The "Half Dollar / Butterfly" chair is a product of his ongoing formal interests in the circle and in negative space. The complex forms he creates are spatial explorations meant to affect the viewer (or sitter) visually and physically. At the root of Swing's coin furniture is his intention to create a transformative experience. As he recently explained: "With furniture, I'm making something you can look at, and if you want to go further you can touch it, and if you want to go further, you can sit on it. By sitting on it, you're having a shared experience with me and my work." (Burlington Free Press, June 10, 2012)


“Half Dollar / Butterfly” chair

Welded U.S. half dollars, stainless steel.
32 3/4 x 46 x 32 1/2 in (83.2 x 116.8 x 82.6 cm)
Number 30 from the edition of 50 plus 1 artist’s proof. Tag welded with 'Johnny Swing' and ‘HDC30KW11’.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $67,300

Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

7 March 2013
New York