Getsuen (Lily) Chair
Masanori Umeda (b. 1941, Japanese)
Edra (1987–present), Italy
metal, wood and cloth upholstery
32 1/2 x 28 x 37 inches
Masanori Umeda was a member of the Memphis design group that formed in Milan under the leadership of industrial designer Ettore Sottsass in 1981. The Memphis group questioned the asceticism and sparseness of pre-war Modernist design. Memphis designs were Postmodern, combining historical references with bright colors and playfulness drawn from Pop Art design. Umeda created this Getsuen (Lily) Chair in the shape of a flower in an attempt to reconnect design with nature after a period of post-war global industrialization. “Modern industrialization in the West has given priority to function and efficiency, and has destroyed beautiful nature”, Umeda said. “That’s why my design works are full of motifs of animals, plants and nature.” Umeda incorporates the flower motif using elements of traditional design. The stamen of the flower is represented in the stitching and classic button tufting on the seat. The velvety surface of the upholstery mimics the feel of flower petals, and the rear wheels (for easy transport between rooms) are painted bright green on some models, as a stand-in for a stem.
Not currently on view
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art