Poul Kjaerholm (1929-1980)
Poul Kjaerholm’s work is perhaps the most elegant in Scandinavian post-war time. Most 20th Century Danish furniture stresses the beauty of wood but Poul Kjaerholm favoured steel, with its flexibility and elegant surface finish, for his furniture.
His innovative designs in steel, cane and leather represent an important departure from the Danish tradition. Kjaerholm's use of industrial materials relates back to primary exponents of functionalism in furniture design, such as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. The chair “PK22” is for example his tribute to Mies van der Rohe’s “Barcelona chair”.
Kjaerholm’s design carries a sophisticated, easily recognisable linear silhouette. The artist’s individual approach to functional design gained him the Grand Prix at the 1957 Milan Triennale, followed a year later by the major design award the Lunning Prize.
From the late fifties to the early seventies, Poul Kjaerholm’s furniture was produced by E. Kold Christensen in Denmark. These early pieces by Kold Christensen are highly collectable and command high prices. Fritz Hansen took over production in the late 1970’s and continues to produce some models to the present day.