45 Chair 1945
In the Autumn of 1945, Finn Juhl presented the 45 Chair at the annual Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition. Today, the chair is widely regarded as one of the most revolutionizing and iconic pieces within Danish furniture design. Finn Juhl dreamt of studying art history and his deep understanding of international contemporary art is abundantly clear in the bold 45 Chair. With its curved backrest and organic shape this chair cemented Finn Juhl as one of the leading designers of the 20th century.
In a review on Finn Juhl's stand at the exhibition in 1945, the architect Erik Herløw wrote; “Most interesting about the exhibition is probably Finn Juhl's work. After many years of experiments, we now see a clarified result. Finn Juhl does not design on a refinement of traditions but has instead logically solved functions and therefrom shaped furniture on his terms. In the early years, Finn Juhl’s attempts seemed exaggerated, but now it is so much more interesting to observe the result he has achieved by going his own ways. Most beautiful is an armchair, where the frame is organically shaped as a bone, able to support the muscles of an arm and the weight of a body. The expression of the chair is reminiscent of a weapon, sharpened by human hands.”
About the 45 Chair
The 45 Chair is a true masterpiece and has become an icon of Finn Juhl’s universe of furniture. With this chair, Finn Juhl managed to create an, at the time, unseen design by separating the carried and the carrying elements. In reality, Finn Juhl had previously experimented with separating the upholstered parts from the wooden parts within his furniture, but with the sleek, strong and elegant 45 Chair this unique design characteristic manifested.
On the 45 Chair the space between the frame and the seat creates a lightness, which combined with its organic shape and sublime detailing, ensures unique beauty and floating elegance. The chair appeals to all senses and pleases the eye and body alike. Furthermore, the 45 Chair has been called “the mother of all modern chairs” by the Japanese professor and design collector Mr. Noritsugu Oda.
The groundbreaking 45 Chair became the prelude to the unfolding of Finn Juhl’s characteristic style of design that we know from the latter part of the 1940s. During this period, his designs are characterized exactly by liberating the seat and backrest as a single unit carried by the frame. This approach became a defining moment in establishing Finn Juhl’s status as a pioneer within furniture design.
The 45 Chair is manufactured in oak or walnut and upholstered with fabric or leather.