"Capitello" Chair

Designer:
Studio 65 (Italian)
Manufacturer:
Gufram (Italian, founded 1952)
Date:
1971
Medium:
Polyurethane foam, latex rubber containing paint
Dimensions:
26 1/2 x 40 x 44 1/2 in. (67.3 x 101.6 x 113 cm)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Twentieth Century Decorative Arts Gifts, by exchange, 2003
Accession Number:
2003.12a, b
Rights and Reproduction:
© Gufram s.r.l.
Not on view
Franco Audrito and Piero Gatti founded Studio 65 as a radical response to functionalism. The Capitello side chair subverts a traditional icon of classical high culture—the Greek ionic capital and column—and replaces it with a Pop-inspired icon for a new generation skeptical of the establishment. Hard, noble marble is substituted by cushy, cheap, self-skinning polyurethane foam. The load-bearing structural pillar of government and financial institutions is brought down from its lofty heights in the form of a lounge chair that delights and surprises with its irreverent humor and biting sociopolitical critique.
[21/20 Gallery, Pound Ridge, N. Y., until 2003; sold to MMA]

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical," July 21–October 8, 2017, no catalogue.

Michael Collins. Towards Post-Modernism: Design Since 1851. London, 1987, p. 128, fig. 135.

Miriam Stimpson. Modern Furniture Classics. New York, 1987, p. 156, ill. (color), calls it "The Ionic" and dates it 1972.

Charlotte Fiell and Peter Fiell. 1000 Chairs. Cologne, 1997, p. 491, ill. (color).

Jane Adlin in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2002–2003." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 61 (Fall 2003), pp. 50–51, ill. (color).