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Marcel Breuer Long Chair by Isokon, circa 1970
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Marcel Breuer Long Chair by Isokon, circa 1970

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Marcel Breuer long chair by Isokon, circa 1970 Marcel Breuer 'Long Chair' Birch bent ply with a Siberian Blue Bute Tweed seat pad by Isokon circa 1970, the ‘Long chair’, with its bent frame of laminated birch wood supporting the shaped timber seat and back. Designed by Marcel Breuer, the design of the long chair spreads a person’s weight across a larger area than a regular chair, giving greater comfort. The advertising at the time the chair launched claimed that 'the Long Chair gives scientific relaxation to every part of the body, immediately creating a feeling of well-being.' The long chair ranks as one of the highlights of inter-war modernism, its use of moulded plywood anticipating the direction of post-WWII furniture design and manufacture. With its variants, and along with the plywood chairs of the renowned Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, from the 1930s, the ‘Long chair’ is one of the earliest examples of ‘organic’ plywood furniture. Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) was born in Hungary. He attended the Weimar Bauhaus between 1920 and 1924 and then was the ‘Young Master’ of its furniture worksop in Dessau from 1925-1928. From 1922, Breuer designed innovative wood-slat furniture and from 1925 also metal furniture beginning with his now iconic ‘B3’ (known as the ‘Wassily chair’ from the 1960s), the first modern tubular-steel chair for the domestic interior. From 1929 Breuer also designed cantilevered chairs from bent metal tubing, beginning with ‘B32’, later known as ‘Cesca’. (The first cantilevered chair was designed by Mart Stam in 1926). The experimental nature of plywood as a new material for furniture making, saw the ‘Long chair’ undergo several modifications over time for strength and durability. Nonetheless, its gentle contouring and simple, lightweight, elegant form anticipate concerns further elaborated on by prominent post-war designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Eero Saarinen. Marcel Breuer left Bauhaus in 1928 and then worked in Berlin, Switzerland and England. He migrated to America in 1937 where he, along with Gropius, attained a celebrated architectural career. Condition report: Structurally stabile, minor scratches, marks and knocks to frame consistent with age and use, the seat would probably benefit from a clean or being reupholstered. Dimensions: Height 32” inches / 82cm Width 24” inches /61cm Length 52” inches / 132cm.

Details

  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 32 in. x W 52 in. x D 24 in.H 81.28 cm x W 132.08 cm x D 60.96 cm
  • Seller Location
    Longdon, GB
  • Reference Number
    LU1832316921041
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About Marcel Breuer (Designer)

The architect and designer Marcel Breuer was one the 20th century’s most influential and innovative adherents of modernism. A member of the Bauhaus faculty, Breuer — like such colleagues as the architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the artists and art theoreticians Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers — left Europe in the 1930s to champion the new design philosophy and its practice in the United States.


Born in Hungary, Breuer became a Bauhaus student in 1920 and quickly impressed Gropius, the German school’s founder, with his aptitude for furniture design. His early work was influenced by the minimalist Dutch design movement De Stijl — in particular the work of architect Gerrit Rietveld. In 1925, while he was head of the Bauhaus furniture workshop, Breuer realized his signal innovation: the use of lightweight tubular-steel frames for chairs, tables and sofas — a technique soon adopted by Mies and others. Breuer’s attention gradually shifted from design to architecture, and, at the urging of Gropius, he joined his mentor in 1937 on the faculty of Harvard and in an architectural practice.


In the 1940s, Breuer opened his own architectural office, and there his style evolved from geometric, glass-walled structures toward a kind of hybrid architecture — seen in numerous Breuer houses in New England — that pairs bases of local fieldstone with sleek, wood-framed modernist upper floors. In his later, larger commissions, Breuer worked chiefly with reinforced concrete and stone, as seen in his best-known design, the Brutalist inverted ziggurat built in New York in 1966 as the home of the Whitney Museum of American Art.


Breuer’s most famous furniture pieces are those made of tubular steel, which include the Wassily chair — named after Wassily Kandinsky and recognizable for its leather-strap seating supports — and the caned Cesca chair. Breuer also made several notable designs in molded plywood, including a chaise and nesting table for the British firm Isokon and a student furniture suite commissioned in 1938 for a dormitory at Bryn Mawr College. Whether in metal or wood, Breuer’s design objects are elegant and adaptable examples of classic modernist design — useful and appropriate in any environment.

About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum
1stdibs seller since 2016
Typical response time: <1 hour
Located in Longdon, GB
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