Artists and their work fulfil our world. They are an inspiration for our creative endeavours and facilitators of contact with something beyond us. Whether it's art in any form or design, we surround ourselves with it with enthusiasm. This led us to the idea that we can regularly lend our space, which is limited to offering our work, to artists whose work appeals to us. All this with the pleasure that we can help you discover someone and something that will bring you joy. We will introduce the artist. We will select one of his works (undoubtedly one that we would choose for ourselves) and offer it here for sale to a new circle of art lovers and collectors. To You.
MODERNISTA and Jindřich Halabala
Similarly, to inspiration for the creative work of the Pigmentarium team oscillating from art to design, with the second part of the Curator project, we venture from ceramic solitaire to the work of a famous furniture designer. Today, we enthusiastically focus on Jindřich Halabala and, along with him, the bearer of his legacy, the brand Modernista. Its precise and valuable work enables the sensitive souls of the twenty-first century to purchase lighting, ceramics, chairs, and other interior solitaires in the form that our great-grandparents could have acquired for their functionalist apartments full of light and progressive ideas. We asked Kateřina Wichterlová, who leads the brand, a few questions that will help us introduce the idea with which Modernista creates, and above all, the object we have chosen for the Curator section. You can acquire the first piece from the collection of renewed production of the legendary H-79 chairs upholstered in fabric!
What do you love about the Modernista brand itself?
The absolute timelessness and the high level of craftsmanship. The fact that we are succeeding in reviving products from a time when Czech design was truly world-class, whether it is the unique Cubism or Functionalism associated with the name of Jindřich Halabala and the UP Závody (The Workers' Union) brand, is what I love about Modernista.
What do you consider the most fundamental pieces of inter-war design that Modernista is currently focusing on in their work, and what convinced you?
One of the crucial elements is the Cubist collection, especially the one by Pavel Janák from the 1920s. During that time, Cubism in Czechoslovakia transcended from visual art and architecture into the realm of everyday living and utility items. The arrow-backed chair, the crystal box, vases, and the coffee set. And undoubtedly, also the chairs produced by UP (The Workers' Union) factories, which were created under the influence of Jindřich Halabala as the chief designer. The adjustable chair H-70, the subtle H-269, and the comfortable Tulešice chair.
For our Curator project, we reached for the latest work you are currently focusing on. The H-79 chair by Jindřich Halabala is making a return thanks to you. Can you tell us more about this project?
Modernista, as the exclusive licensee of Jindřich Halabala's work, presents the contemporary rendition of this iconic chair. The exact replica of the frame is now complemented by three seat and backrest variations – rattan weaving, fabric upholstery, and leather covering. The path to these variants was not straightforward. From the search for the original piece, through precise measurements, the creation of several models, sourcing high-quality rattan, and especially through collaboration with skilled craftsmen who can produce with precision and attention to detail.
Try to describe the H-79 chair (our choice in red fabric) as its author would describe it.
The chair with dual springing, designated as H-79, was created in the early 1930s for the United Arts and Crafts Workshops in Brno. This chair is unique in that, unlike the typical two-legged chair design, which is constructed without a rear pair of legs, Jindřich Halabala used the principle of steel tube elasticity in reverse. His chair does not have front legs. Halabala developed three models based on this principle, with several variations. Most of them are known from publications and advertisements dating back to 1931. The sled of tubular construction, resting on the ground, forms a “U” shape, with the open part typically being at the front for a regular two-legged chair, whereas in Halabala's designs, it is at the back. The elasticity in this design relies on the combination of both springing principles simultaneously. Because the steel tubes from the sled on the floor first slant diagonally forward and then return towards the rear backrest, it results in a double springing mechanism above each other.
A unique replica of an extraordinary tubular chair designed by one of the most famous Czech furniture designers, Jindřich Halabala, for the United Arts and Crafts Workshops in Brno in the early 1930s. In its renewed premiere this autumn, the chair is presented in a top-notch craftsmanship by the current holder of the license for Halabala's work, the brand Modernista. As part of the Curator project, the first piece ever produced is now available for purchase.
Chrome-plated steel / red cotton and linen fabric.
height 87 × width 50 × depth 67 cm, seat height 50 cm
DISCOVER THE WORLD OF MODERNISTA HERE