Marcel Breuer was a Hungarian-born, modernist, architect and furniture designer. Known to his friends and associated as Laikjó, Breuer left his hometown at the age of 18 in search of artistic training and was one of the first and youngest students at the Bauhaus – a radical arts and crafts school that had been founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar just after World War 1.
Breuer was immediately recognized by Gropius as having immense talent and was quickly placed at the head of the carpentry shop. Ultimately Breuer left Bauhaus to start his own firm. Best known later in life for his iconic chair designs, Breuer often worked in tandem with other designers, developing a thriving global practice that eventually cemented his reputation as one of the most important architects of the modern era.
Breuer’s affinity for concrete made him a key figure in the emergence of brutalism, which has drawn much criticism due to his designs heavy handed massiveness. However, Breuer counterbalanced this tendency in his small-scale houses that are notable for their sensitive handling of traditional materials such as wood and brick. Here are some images of his architectural gems.
Here are some John-Richard pieces that draw from his modernist aesthetic. It is easy to see Breuer’s influence on many furniture designs that are so popular today.
Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer who made his career in France. Widely considered to be one of the foremost pioneers of modernism, and one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century, Brâncuși is often referred to as the patriarch of modern sculpture.
As a child in Romania he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. His formal education first took him to Bucharest, then to Munich and then to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His artwork emphasizes clean geometrical lines that balance forms inherent in his materials with the symbolic allusions of representational art. Brâncuși was also known for paying an unusual amount of attention to the bases on which his sculptures were displayed, believing that the pedestal was part of the sculpture itself.
The Brâncuși sculptural aesthetic has influenced many designers. These lighting pieces by Mark McDowell and accessories by Margaret Fisher show how the artist is still a source of inspiration.
“And you spend your evening in your color. The idea is to take things which open your mind, that speak to you – the colors speak to you.”
– Philippe Starck
About the Designer:
Philippe Starck, born January 18, 1949 in Paris, France, is a visionary in all realms of design including interiors, architectural and furniture as well as utilitarian objects such as staplers and juice squeezers. He was constantly referencing where and how people live and questioning the materiality of our environments. Starck is renowned for his hotel design with projects such as the Royalton in New York, the Delano in Miami and the Mondrian in Los Angeles which are all considered contemporary landmarks. The Faena suite in Buenos Aires featured above is considered one of the most expensive in the world and was redesigned by Starck.
To learn more about this exceptional designer, click on the link below: www.starck.com