An exhibition of chairs

With the ever-evolving blurred boundary between art and design, THEFOURTH is proud to present a showcase of our archive of chairs; spanning across decades and designers; chairs in vivid mid-century, modernism, art-deco and contemporary styles. Approached from the view of musicology, and the nervous breakdowns that ensue with curating our collection, this exhibition has been realized through Black Flag’s anarchist album Nervous Breakdown – a testament to the intersections between design, music and time.

The ubiquitous chair has undoubtedly transcended its practical nature to the status of an objet d’art as a continual study on form and function alike. To challenge the modular expectations of what seating itself means for society – in both comfort and context – designers throughout the 20th and 21st century have stripped back, exaggerated, turned to carpentry, industrial means and many other methodologies to re-interpret the chair as distinguished expressions of aesthetic movements. Having been informed by the concept of seating following our transition from nomadic to settled communities in the late Neolithic era; designers have worked with multiple threads of influence across the world in order to arrive at their vision of the most innovative and original chair.

Chairs are fascinating expressions of the cultural and artistic context in which they exist. As a necessity for every space; their journey through time has seen innumerable shifts, from divergences off the status-quo, to defining the era in which they are positioned. What was once elevated as a status symbol in earlier dwellings, has become an intrinsic signifier of the domestic space. The chair is consequential to design, and vice-versa; it is the ultimate dance between form and function, with a burgeoning future ahead of it as we advance in technology with sustainable, environmental considerations for aspects of human existence. From our earliest days, to the current trends; chairs continue to define the progression of humankind as we emerge with our ever-evolving consciousness.


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