Description du projet

Erwine and Estelle Laverne

Galerie Insighter presents:

American artist couple Erwine (1909-2003) and Estelle (1915-1997) Laverne
Model ‘Lili’
Set of two armchairs
Lucite, cast polished aluminium
Cushions in tissu
Edition Formes Nouvelles
Circa 1965

Very good condition with minor signs of wear
H_78cm   L_60cm   D_60cm


If interested in purchasing or viewing please contact Galerie Insighter.

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The couple Erwine and Estelle Laverne both trained as painters at the Art Students League in New York under Hans Hofmann. In the 1930s they pooled their collective talent and focus into design, establishing Laverne Originals in 1938, an influential New York company driven by their precise and unique modern artistic style.

In 1957 they came out with their ‘Invisible Group’ of curvy see-through plastic furniture designed to exist in a space as, Erwine believed, “an element of contrast to eliminate sameness.” The strikingly modern theme introduced a period of plastic furniture design notable for its distinctive characteristics. The undeniable inference being made to the utilization of this progressive new clear plastic called Lucite.

Christian Dior 1950s

The bulb-shape was an important inspiration for decorative art of the 1950s and 1960s. The trendiness of bulbs and tulips was in their exaggerated proportions: bulbous top, narrow stem and wide base—proportions that became technologically possible in modern design with the advent of new materials and ways of production. The bulb shape was seen in the flared tops, pinched waists and narrow bottoms of Dior’s New Look clothes, as well as in slim-stemmed and wide-bowled wine glasses and vases.

Rita Reif, who wrote about the design for The Times, gave the Invisible chairs a rave review in a 1958 article. She said, “I knew immediately what it was, how innovative: it was the first time we saw full-fledged modern design in acrylic. Helena Rubinstein had clear plastic furniture in the 30’s, but it was more traditional. This was so light and airy. Dreamlike. And so amusing. Really the most important thing they ever did.” In Reif’s article, Erwine Laverne, a tall, imposing man with a strong ego, told Reif that “the most important element in rooms is people, not furniture.” Hence, the invisibility.

An iconic example of mid-century seating. The scoop-formed seat upon inverted round base shaped as one piece, with the armrests, each chair comes with original loose unique seat pad, truly museum quality, extremely comfortable to sit on, and lovely to look at!