(b. France, 1949)
Louis Ghost Armchair, designed 2002; manufactured by Kartell S.p.A.
Collection of Roman Baratiak
A postmodern twist on a chair fit for a king, this object transforms a Louis-XVI-style chair with its ornate lines, colors, and textures into a single, transparent form. Yet, the chair retains the formal, rectilinear geometry of the Neoclassical style, thereby simultaneously referring to and rejecting its historical precedent. Here, plastic is injected into a single-mold form, liberating the chair from the use of joints or attachments. The result is a consistently clear, clean, and comfortable chair, which is surprisingly sturdy, despite its ethereal presence. This lightweight chair is adaptable to any environment, taking up little visual space. Philippe Starck sought to access the disappearance of visibility, and he believes this chair offers the choice to see or not see what is around us. Even in its translucent state, this everyday object becomes a solid sculptural form.