Monday, May 23, 2016


Julian Dashper was a great fan of Gerrit Rietveld chairs, and Rietveld tables for that matter. He had copies made of both the well-known Blue chair (which he painted in a new Dashper colour range) and the famous Zig-Zag chair. Rietveld himself once called the Zig Zag a ‘designer joke’ but Dashper took it pretty seriously. An early version made from MDF board didn’t survive but two more based on drawings in the book How to construct Reitveld furniture did. One is in 12mm ply and another in American ash (thanks M). We remember sitting (nervously at first) on one of the later sturdier versions. And now another  version of the Rietveld Zig Zag chair with a strong NZ connection has turned up in the Berlin dealer gallery Neugerriemschneider. This chair was made from swamp kauri by the British artist Simon Starling who has, yes, you guessed it, recently visited New Zealand. He had an exhibition at the City Gallery in 2014 and maybe it was then he came across the complications of exporting swamp kauri out of NZ. This red tape would no doubt have appealed to Starling. His bedtime reading probably includes bureaucratic gems like the Legislative requirements that relate to the milling and export of swamp kauri under the Forest Act 1949 and listings of documentation required to give Notice of intention to export. Anyway he wraps all these rules and regulations into his perfectly simple Zig Zag chair. We need one in NZ, (looking at you Te Papa) anyone out there to do the paperwork?
Image: Simon Starling Zig-Zag chair