Ron Arad - Design New York Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Commissioned directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is number one of two examples produced to date, which was handmade by Ron Arad and the One Off Ltd. team.
    The present and following three lots were commissioned by a private collector and friend of Ron Arad in the late 1980s.  During this time, Arad had been experimenting with metal and developing a primitive and bluntly-constructed style while still searching for an audience that was willing to take risks on unconventional design.  Primarily self-taught in the field of metalwork, Arad continued developing his technique, transitioning the crudely rippled sheets of steel with visible welds into more slick and polished structures.  The designs became increasingly expressive and less functional, asserting Arad’s ongoing quest for bolder and more interesting pieces, and gradually becoming more seamless with highly polished surfaces and a sleeker presence.
    To honor this collector’s eager patronage, Arad presented him with designs that exemplify this experimental nature of his work. The pieces from this important commission demonstrate the shift from Arad’s early, more primitive work to the beginnings of the reflective fluidity in the designs that established Arad as capital among contemporary designers.  Representative of a generation of designers who began producing work out of economic necessity and evolved into artists with commanding presence on the design and art markets, Arad’s pieces for this commission mirror his growth and echo the appreciation for and importance of the support of experimental and progressive contemporary design.
    "This was a period where we almost started welding the world.  These works done for clients then became a type and then became a piece and then became a series.  These commissions, including the present lots, were part of a laboratory and an arena to experiment in and paved the way to the future."  Ron Arad, May 2008

  • Artist Biography

    Ron Arad

    Israeli • 1951

    Ron Arad's work and career is characterized by his movement between modes and constant experimentation. Arad was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1951 and studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Art before moving to London in 1973. He began his practice in London in the early 1980s and set up One Off Ltd, focused on limited edition objects, with his partner Caroline Thorman. A decade later he had moved to industrial production techniques and collaborations with large design firms such as Vitra and Kartell.

    A persistent theme throughout his work is innovation and the idea of the "new." Still producing work today, Arad uses the latest technology to produce his designs and also integrates it within his pieces, such as his Lolita Chandelier (2004) that can receive and display text messages. Arad also continually experiments with materials and has an exceptional skill to coax volume and undulation out of them, with a particular affinity for metal. His works such as The Big Easy chair (1988) walk the line between design and sculpture. Once an outsider, Arad's relentless energy to design, build and collaborate has placed him firmly within the highest ranks of the design world.

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Rare, early and important “Three Legs and A Coffee Table”

ca. 1990
Mirror-polished stainless steel, patinated steel.
19 7/8 x 35 1/2 x 35 1/4 in. (50.5 x 90.2 x 89.5 cm)
Handmade by Ron Arad and the One Off Ltd. team, London, UK.

$180,000 - 220,000 

Sold for $217,000


12 June 2008, 2pm
New York