Poul Kjærholm 1929 – 1980
There’s one thing you’ll notice about Poul Kjaerholm’s Danish modern designs: they don’t exactly look Danish modern. In fact, if you were selling a Kjaerholm chair online you might not even use the phrase “Danish modern” as a keyword, though his designs are, in fact, quite Danish and quite modern.While other post-war Scandanavian designers gravitated to wood, Kjaerholm preferred to work in steel and leather. And so most of his designs – particularly his Tulip (1961) and Hammock (1965) chairs – look like they belong in the lobby of a Mies van der Rohe building under a Rothko painting, a place you wouldn’t find your typical Danish modern armchair. Born in 1929, Kjaerholm started out as a cabinetmaker’s apprentice before enrolling in the school of Commerical Art in Copenhagen. From there he began working for entrepreneur Ejvind Kold Christiansen, who produced many of his furniture designs. While Kjaerholm started out working with dramatic bent plywood, as early as 1954 (with his PK-61 coffee table) he was breaking from wood and favoring steel and glass.Kjaerholm’s work is featured in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He died in 1980.