Shiro Kuramata - KYOBAI, Japanese Art and Culture London Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Exhibited

    Galerie Yves Gastou, Shiro Kuramata, December, 1986

  • Literature

    Shiro Kuramata, exh. cat., Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2000, pp. 21, 76, pl. 31, 174, pl. 5 and 176, pl. 3

  • Catalogue Essay

    Kuramata’s intention to produce ornament whilst eliminating visual impurities as discussed in lot 124 has been accentuated in this piece through the use of glass.The result is a sense of weightlessness throughout the piece which is further reflected in the tapering shape of the legs and table top.The ‘TwilightTime’ table has been described as taking material to its extreme limits where it ‘metamorphoses into an aggregate of lines’ (Oki, Shiro Kuratamata, 1996, p. 79). Every angle gives it a different shape whilst never giving up its elegance.

  • Artist Biography

    Shiro Kuramata

    Japanese • 1934 - 1991

    Shiro Kuramata is widely admired for his ability to free his designs from gravity and use materials in ways that defied convention. After a restless childhood, his ideas of being an illustrator having been discouraged, Kuramata discovered design during his time at the Teikoku Kizai Furniture Factory in Arakawa-ku in 1954. The next year he started formal training at the Department of Interior Design at the Kuwasawa Design Institute. His early work centered on commercial interiors and window displays. In 1965, at the age of 31, he opened his own firm: Kuramata Design Office.

    Throughout his career he found inspiration in many places, including the work of Italian designers (particularly those embodying the Memphis style) and American conceptual artists like Donald Judd, and combined such inspirations with his own ingenuity and creativity. His dynamic use of materials, particularly those that were transparent, combination of surfaces and awareness of the potential of light in design led him to create objects that stretched structural boundaries and were also visually captivating. These qualities are embodied in his famous Glass Chair (1976).

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‘Twilight Time’ side table

c. 1986

Glass, chrome-plated steel mesh.

69 x 110 x 54.5 cm. (27 1/8 x 43 1/4 x 21 1/2 in).

Manufactured by XO, France. From an edition of approximately 20-30 examples.

£30,000 - 40,000 

KYOBAI, Japanese Art and Culture

3 Apr 2008, 6pm