Nakashima and Wright

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SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Odd, that -- considering the number of clients with names suggesting that they were Jewish. The percentage of those clients increased perhaps in the last decade of his career ?


It is self-evident that the warm tones and solid-wood construction of furniture by the various makers mentioned, would make them at home in Wright's Usonian homes. That said:

I would think that Wright's criticism of Nakashima's work would center on its overt "naturalism" -- the free edge of the table-top, the structural expressiveness, perhaps. But there are enough straight lines in his work to make them at home in Wright's houses, I think.

Sam Maloof's work, and Mr Foley's (from what I can see), would seem to be even further from Wright's aesthetic, with their embrace of curvature -- more Art Nouveau than anything else, by comparison to the geometries of his own furniture pieces ? Organic, perhaps -- but not at all what Wright meant by the term.

Thomas Moser has made clear-finished hardwood furniture -- beginning with chairs -- that might be a bit less willful in its forms, a bit more disciplined, than that of the makers mentioned so far. (Recent years have brought a cornucopia of new designs from the firm, not all of them aesthetic triumphs by any means.)

Perhaps its the variance from Wright's geometries, itself, which makes these others' furniture a good choice; no one would mistake the furniture with Wright's, which is comforting to those who wish to clarify that they haven't introduced pseudo-Wright objects into these historic interiors ? (A secondary benefit would be that only non-orthogonal geometries in seating pieces are capable of providing true comfort to the human form !)

SDR

lang
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:19 am

Post by lang »

Perhaps its the variance from Wright's geometries, itself, which makes these others' furniture a good choice; no one would mistake the furniture with Wright's, which is comforting to those who wish to clarify that they haven't introduced pseudo-Wright objects into these historic interiors ?-Sdr
Perhaps it is that, "variance" from Wright's geometric grammar, that makes Nakashima's woodwork fit so well in a Usonian home. The clean simple lines of his furniture seem to be fitting, while that natural edge provides a contrast or relief.

SDR
Posts: 20201
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Furniture -- the chair, at least -- must of necessity diverge from simple geometries if it is to be comfortable to the human body. Our minds -- if we have taken Wright's aesthetic as our own -- might prefer the vertical, the horizontal, the perfectly planar, but our bodies have "a mind of their own." So, perhaps it is that movable furnishings can bridge the gap, in Wright's environments as in may others, visually and in physical form, between the Platonic and the (small O) organic ?

If Mr Wright could stray from his "draftsman's angles" -- 15, 30, 45, 60 degrees -- when it came to stairs and roof pitches, so too did he (sometimes) favor the human form with a sloping chair or couch seat and back. Even he, then, recognized (and increasingly accommodated) the inevitable when it came to the necessities of physical comfort -- while he, always and ever, addressed the visual prerogatives so dear to his heart.

SDR

KevinW
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

Has anyone else noticed the similarities in some of Nakashima's case pieces, and Wright's Henredon line?
KevinW

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Wright's "Four Square" series for Henredon is dated 1955. Here are two cases, and a chair:


Image


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Nakashima's Conoid series dates from 1960, according to this page:

http://www.mfah.org/art/detail/conoid-coffee-table/


Here are three pieces:


Image


Image


Image

KevinW
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

The Henredon pieces were also available without the Taliesin pattern, which to my eye make them resemble some Nakashima pieces even more.
KevinW

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