Ron Arad - Design New York Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Deyan Sudjic, Ron Arad: Restless Furniture, New York, 1989, p. 58 for a similar example; Yukio Futagawa, Sticks and Stones.  One Offs & Short Runs.  Ron Arad 1980-1990, exh. cat., Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 1990, p. 120-121 for "Wild Crow 2"

  • Catalogue Essay

    In Crow, a seminal collection of poems from 1970, British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes writes of his title character: “He got his strength up flush and in full glitter / He clawed and flushed his rage up. / He aimed his beak direct at the sun’s centre… / But the sun brightened— / It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.” Flights of birds have long been considered augurs; it would be agreeable to think Hughes’s verse presaged the glittering and charred violence of Ron Arad’s "Wild Crow," (circa 1990), a unique stainless and patinated steel chair—flamboyant, anguished language gave wing to flamboyant, anguished form. But Arad’s chair is a pantomime and so has no basis in speech. Other differences attend: Hughes despairs, Arad crows; the latter’s view of nature is more ecstatic: the brute beauty of a bird in flight. Both artists hammer their material to coarse effect, but Hughes is blunt and precise, Arad more elusive in shape and intention—are we really meant to sit here?
    Cut, forged, and welded from sheet steel, "Wild Crow" was among Arad’s increasingly expressionistic, sculptural works of the late 1980s, a departure from the earlier pragmatism of his Kee Klamp experiments such as "Rover Chair" and "Round Rail Bed." In Restless Furniture, Deyan Sudjic writes: “While some designers continue to celebrate the imagery of the machine…others like Arad attempt to turn design into a species of poetry.” By the time of "Wild Crow," Arad had mostly left behind salvaged or open-source materials, his use of which was so reminiscent of machines and vehicles. He gave flight to his imagination and with it a new poetry: the rhythms of volume and space for which he is now celebrated.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Unique and important “Wild Crow” chaise

ca. 1990
Mirror-polished stainless steel, patinated mild steel. 
63 x 45 x 27 1/4 in. (160 x 114.3 x 69.2 cm.)
Produced by One Off Ltd., UK.

$160,000 - 180,000 


17 Dec 2008 2pm
New York