9 December 2019
In Wien, the capital of bentwood, modern design is the protagonist of a journey through time.
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH (“GTV”) is one of the protagonists of BENTWOOD AND BEYOND: Thonet and Modern Furniture Design, the exhibition that will be inaugurated on 17 December at the MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts in Wien boasting one of the historical archives dedicated to the world’s richest Thonet tradition.
The exhibition, open to the public from 18 December to 13 April 2020, celebrates the two hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the very first carpentry workshop started by Michael Thonet.
The exhibition involves the visitor in an exciting historical excursion that collects the fundamental stages of the Thonet tradition. The curator, Sebastian Hackenschmidt, head of the MAK furniture collection and guest curator, Wolfgang Thillmann, one of the world’s leading experts on Thonet style, selected around 240 pieces offering an in-depth view along with the technological, typological, aesthetic and historical developments in furniture design.
For the occasion, GTV loaned two unique pieces from its historical archive and it has donated three pieces from the contemporary collection: the Radetzky chair by Michele De Lucchi together with the lounge chairs Hideout by Front and Lehnstuhl by Nigel Coates that will become part of the permanent collection at MAK once the exhibition will be over.
GTV has also furnished the reading area with the new lounge chairs N.200 by Michael Anastassiades, as well as the Arch Coffee Table tables by Front, refined examples of the contemporary GTV collection.
Also on display is Hermann Czech’s Czech chair, a 1994 project that ideally combines GTV’s past and the present: a chair and armchair that over the years has been a great success with the public, especially in the contract sector, also selected for the MAK restaurant.
In addition to the furnishings, GTV also donated several metres of woven cane and some coins engraved with the Wiener GTV Design logo, a precious detail embedded in the structure of each single piece of the contemporary collection to attest the authenticity. Two symbolic elements used by the Viennese architect Claudia Cavallar for the creation of an installation dedicated to woven cane, together with bentwood, another archetype of the Thonet tradition.
The presence of the MAK in Vienna is important new recognition for GTV, part of a great European history that combines tradition and innovation, protagonist of the crucial transition from craftsmanship to industry that has helped define the visual grammar of contemporary life.
The technique of curved wood is inherent in the DNA of Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH (“GTV”), which for some years has chosen to renew its stylistic features through continual design research and collaboration with the world of design, creating a new phase in its history together with leading designers on the international scene. A company vision that confirms GTV’s vocation for design research, a trait d’union between its past and future, with the aim of continuing to innovate on a road traced by tradition.
BENTWOOD AND BEYOND
Thonet and Modern Furniture Design
MAK Exhibition Hall
MAK, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna
18 December 2019 – 13 April 2020