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Rare “Cloud-form” sofa, model no. IN-70, and "Cloud-form" ottoman, model no. IN-71, Circa 1948 – Isamu Noguchi
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À propos de l'objet

Isamu Noguchi\nRare “Cloud-form” sofa, model no. IN-70, and "Cloud-form" ottoman, model no. IN-71\ncirca 1948\nBirch, fabric.\nSofa: 28 3/8 x 117 1/2 x 49 in. (72.1 x 298.5 x 124.5 cm); ottoman:15 x 51 1/4 x 27 in. (38.1 x 130.2 x 68.6 cm)\nProduced by The Herman Miller Furniture Company, USA.
US
NY, US
US

year

Circa 1948

notes

Phillips would like to thank The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum for their assistance cataloguing the present lot.Mirroring the organic forms of Noguchi’s sculptures and installations of the same period, the present “Cloud” sofa and ottoman embody the biomorphism Noguchi sought to express in his work. George Nelson, then Creative Director of The Herman Miller Furniture Company, described Noguchi’s “Cloud” designs as “neither homey like the handicraft object nor rigid like the machine form – but amorphous and flowing like living tissue.” The “Cloud” sofa and ottoman appeared in Architectural Forum (April 1949) as Noguchi’s ideal concept for furniture design: “It should be, he says, ‘a soft rock.’” Although Interiors (March 1949) gave it qualified praise—“screwballish to some, of extraordinary plastic beauty to others”—the “Cloud” became an iconic example of the sculptural design of the late 1940s. Despite the many press mentions received, however, it was never published in Herman Miller’s catalogues, nor mass-produced; the “Cloud” was made-to-order between 1949 and 1951. Of only six sofa and ottoman sets known to have been made, the present lot is one of four examples of each known to be extant. One set is included in the permanent collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and one sofa in the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany. One set was purchased by a private collector from Christie’s East, “Important Design”, November 27, 1999. One ottoman was purchased from Wright “Design,” December 12, 2013. The fourth set, offered here, was acquired by the present owner from Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg, “20-21st Century Design Art”, May 22, 2002.

title

Rare “Cloud-form” sofa, model no. IN-70, and "Cloud-form" ottoman, model no. IN-71

medium

Birch, fabric.

signed

Produced by The Herman Miller Furniture Company, USA.

creator

Isamu Noguchi

condition

Each piece re-upholstered in period-appropriate Maharam fabric on the occasion of the suite's association, circa 2003. Very slight fading and minimal wear to edges of seat and top edge of backrest. Ottoman's legs have been refinished at some point and with scuffs. Sofa's legs with scuffs and abrasions consistent with age. Having shifted forward from pressure applied over the years, the sofa's central leg has been re-aligned and stabilized by Arlington Conservation, London, on the occasion of the auction.

dimensions

Sofa: 28 3/8 x 117 1/2 x 49 in. (72.1 x 298.5 x 124.5 cm); ottoman:15 x 51 1/4 x 27 in. (38.1 x 130.2 x 68.6 cm)

literature

"In the Showrooms, Report on an Improved Situation: The New Furniture," Interiors, March 1949, pp. 130-31"Free form for Furniture", Architectural Forum, April 1949, p. 212Nancy Grove and Diane Botnick, The Sculpture of Isamu Noguchi, 1924–1979: A Catalogue, New York, 1980, p. 147, cat. no. 811Cara Greenberg, Mid-Century Modern, New York, 1984, p. 67 for the sofaLisa Phillips and David Hanks, High Styles: Twentieth-Century American Design, New York, 1985, pp. 152-53George Nelson, ed., The 20th Century: Landmarks in Design, Chairs, New York, 1994, p. 33, 152-153Franz Schulze, Building a Masterpiece, exh. cat., Milwaukee Art Museum, New York, 2001, p. 147Alexander von Vegesack, et al., eds., Isamu Noguchi, Sculptural Design, exh. cat., Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 2001, pp. 122-123, 125Ghislane Wood, Surreal Things, Surrealism and Design, London, 2007, p. 99

provenance

PROVENANCE FOR THE SOFAPrivate collection, Boston Skinner Auctioneers, Boston, "Art Glass & Lamps, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco & Modern," October 19 1996, lot 918 Private collection, FloridaPhillips de Pury & Luxembourg, New York, "20-21st Century Design Art," May 22, 2002, lot 73Acquired from the above by the present ownerPROVENANCE FOR THE OTTOMANDoyle, New York, "Doyle at Home: Fine Furniture, Decorations and Paintings," October 8, 2003, lot 151 Acquired from the above by the present owner


*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.

*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.


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