Pergolesi, an Italian designer who spent much of the 1780s in London, created engravings that influenced Italian and English furniture makers. His designs featured fantastic animal-like creatures mixed with a classical vocabulary. This chair was a gift of Countess Costantini, a Hewitt friend who collected and sold antique Italian furniture in New York.
Katagami, the stencils used in the Japanese resist-dye process katazome to produce printed textiles, typically feature abstract motifs drawn from nature, traditional folklore, and literature. The curving, rhythmic lines shown here convey moving water. The simplicity of the design belies the laborious process of carving the stencil.
For the brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, startling materials are a hallmark of their practice. Often evoking the rich street-market culture of their native Brazil, they utilize quotidian elements in unexpected ways, such as cord for the opulent pile upholstery of this Vermelha chair.
The designers who created this chair from a collection of discarded objects produced an intriguing design while reminding us that nothing need be wasted.
This object is currently on display in room 105 in Carnegie Mansion.