Much of Poul Kjærholm's furniture was intended for his own home, located north of Copenhagen and designed by his wife, architect Hanne Kjærholm. His PK22 Easy Chair (1957) was inspired by the light, elegant klismos chair created by the ancient Greeks. With this piece, Kjærholm reduced the chair to three elements: legs, seat and connecting clamps. Such simplicity is true to the International Style, and the combination of a steel structure with natural materials was characteristic of his work. Through his disciplined approach, the chair's cantilevered seat is stabilized by a double cross beam that is precisely positioned so the body rests naturally without a hard front edge or top rail. The wicker is a natural material, made from the stem of the tropical palm, calamus rotang, and its color may vary. Supple and flexible, the PK22 has a minimalist aesthetic that partners well with a low sofa. A monthly treatment with a mild soap solution is highly recommended to prevent the wicker from drying out. Licensed manufacture by Republic of Fritz Hansen. Made in Denmark.
Stainless steel frame; natural rattan seat and back.
Poul Kjærholm's pieces are sculptures in themselves, but with an understated, subtle quality that makes them ideally suited for accompanying art. In 2004, New York's Museum of Modern Art installed Kjærholm daybeds, tables and chairs in its galleries and restaurant. In his furniture, Kjærholm emphasized use and wear, with a focus on materials that were durable and improved with age. He viewed each piece as an element to support an architectural space, and was equally interested in how a chair or lounge positioned the sitter in relation to the surrounding floors and walls.
Apprenticed as a cabinetmaker, but drawn to the potential of steel, Poul Kjærholm brought craftsmanship and industrial materials together in the design of his PK series of furniture. His career was launched in 1952 when his graduation project from Copenhagen's School and Arts and Crafts caught the attention of the Denmark design community. The project included a lounge chair crafted of a single piece of steel that demonstrated the type of material expressiveness that would soon become the signature of this designer. "Steel's constructive potentials are not the only things that interest me," said the designer. "The refraction of light on its surface is an important part of my artistic work. I consider steel a material with the same artistic merit as wood and leather." Read more >