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Jeez, I was excited when I heard that the DMA was putting out some of its modern furniture holdings from its collection in a show called Form/Unformed, because I am certainly not alone when I say that I am an artist who has a penchant for design. I mean, if you’re a person that makes things, you’re liable to notice how well things are made — if you care how your work hangs on a wall, you necessarily care about chairs to the point of serious distraction, too. Right?

Yeah, so I was pretty eager to see the lineup of functional design delights from 1960 – present. Not that I couldn’t just have gone out to any one of the good vintage shops in town to covet things on which to set my keister, it’s just loads more titillating to see a Hans Wegner or a Sam Maloof up on a white museum platform, forbidden to be sat upon, untouchable, useless; so much better to googly-gaggle at Ted Muehling’s Queen Anne’s Lace tea strainer, safe inside a glass box, never to be scalded whilst straining; so much more invigorating to find yourself stand up straighter, more rigid, while being barricaded from Donald Judd’s colorful plywood chairs.

It does a body good, no joke, to see objects like these off-limits. It curbs the wanting, doesn’t it?

So cheers to chairs of museum quality! And fleecy golden rings too big to wear! Yes! And necklaces made from hummingbird feathers encased in hammered gold– be safe!

Sam Maloof, armchair 1984

Donald Judd

Ettore Sottsass, Carlton Room Divider, 1981

Ted Muehling

Louise Campbell, Veryround chair

Giovanni Corvaja, The Golden Fleece Ring

Fernando and Humberto Campana, Banquete Chair with Pandas, 2006

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