After graduating from the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts furniture department in 1952, Poul Kjærholm was hired by Fritz Hansen where he designed a number of noteworthy chair prototypes in the course of a year. His chairs were exhibited and highly recognized, but were never put into production. In 1955, another Danish furniture manufacturer Ejvind Kold Christensen initiated a now historic and highly productive co-operation with Poul Kjærholm which lasted until Kjærholm's death in 1980. In 1982, the then 75 year old Kold Christensen - eager to ensure the continuation of his and Kjærholm's work - offered Fritz Hansen to take over the production and sales of the "Kjærholm Collection".
Trained as a cabinet-maker Poul Kjærholm early on showed an interest in other construction materials. He took a particular likening to metal while he was still a student at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts. His graduation project from 1952 explores this interest: a low lounge chair with metal sides in slotted chromed spring steel.
A black moulded lounge chair, also from 1952, made from two double-bent parts pressed together, was prototyped in papier mâché and later in laminated wood during Poul Kjærholm's employment at Fritz Hansen. The chair has been named "PK 0" and was put into production as a limited edition to celebrate Fritz Hansen's 125th anniversary (1872-1997).
Kjærholm was not willing to compromise in design. He designed simple and truthful furniture, making the most of the properties of materials - his design being logic to the minute detail with an aura of exclusivity.
EXQUISITE AND ORGANIC MATERIALS
The truthfulness in Poul Kjærholm's furniture is sincere. Contrary to most of his predecessors he found steel to be a natural material with the same artistic fineness as wood, leather, rattan, glass and marble. He found that steel ages just as beautifully as organic materials, when polished correctly and given a proper surface treatment. He explored the special advantages of steel, its strength and springing ability, and worked the reflection of light into the surfaces of his materials with an artistic awareness.
Kjærholm designed furniture for large, well-lit rooms, free of superfluous accessories. His ideal room is simple and well-proportioned. His furniture would elevate the interior, creating visual harmony. It would be upon the user to add movement, drama, colour and variation to this backdrop. There is nothing superfluous in Kjærholm's design: With heightened precision and logic, Kjærholm's design appears almost ascetic through the naked perfection and simplicity.
A HOMOGENEOUS PRODUCTION - IN THE WORLD ELITE
By his untimely death in 1980, only 51 years of age, Poul Kjærholm's pieces had long been a worldwide success. While production is small - the quality and pure expression of his furniture are unquestionable. His work impresses by the vigour and is a challenge to us even today.
POUL KJÆRHOLM CLASSICS, MANUFACTURED BY FRITZ HANSEN Seating:
PK 0 Easy Chair (1952)
- Fritz Hansen's 125th Anniversary Chair (1997), manufactured in a numbered and limited edition.
PK 25 Easy Chair (1951)
PK 22 Easy Chair (1956)
PK 26 Couch Hammock (1956)
PK 11 Chair (1957)
PK 80 Plank Bed (1957)
PK 31 Easy Chair/Sofa (1958)
PK 33 Stool (1959)
PK 9 Chair (1960)
PK 91 Folding Chair (1961)
PK 24 Deck Chair (1965)
PK 20 Easy Chair (1967)
PK 51 Work/Dinner table (1957)
PK 55 Work/Dinner table (1957)
PK 54 Table w. extension ring (1963)
PK 61 Sofa Table (1955)
PK 71 Nest of Tables (1957)
PK 62/63/64 Sofa/Side Tables (1968)
PK 65 Sofa Table (1979)
PK 40 Table (1980)
"Poul Kjærholm Furniture" - Mobilia Press.
"Dansk Møbel Kunst ("Danish Furniture Design") - In the 20th Century" (vol. 1 + 2) by Arne Karlsen - published by Christian Ejlers' Forlag, 1990 + 1991.
"Nutidig Dansk Møbeldesign" ("Modern Danish Furniture Design") - Short illustrated descriptions - published by Bondo Gravesen, 1981.
"Dansk Møbeldesign" ("Danish Furniture Design") - published by Kunstmuseet Trapholt, 1993.
Ausgewählte "Poul Kjaerholm" Produkte: