Experimental Ingenuity

The First Chair Design by Marc Newson

This one-of-a-kind work is one of Marc Newson’s earliest furniture designs and likely his first chair. Made of steel and aluminum, the present lot is an exploration in form and geometric shape. The legs are two inverted Vs that become triangles when set upon the ground, their points softened slightly by the circular elements that make the armrests. The seat is a simple rectangle and the back a cylinder. Overall the chair is devised of a balanced and functional set of interconnected lines and shapes.

Designed in 1983 while Newson was attending Sydney College of Art for jewelry and sculpture, this chair was first exhibited two years later in a group show at the Contemporary Jewellery Gallery of Sydney. That same year Newson would design his Lockheed lounge establishing his name in the world of design.

The harsh and sharp lines found here contrasts with the soft-edged biomorphic designs for which Newson is now most well known. Nevertheless, this early work reveals the experimentation and ingenuity that makes Newson one of the most influential industrial designers of his generation.  

Marc Newson

Born in Sydney in 1963, Marc Newson spent his childhood traveling in Europe and Asia. His mother took a job working for a leading Australian architecture firm, exposing Newson to design at early age. He attended Sydney College of the Arts to study jewelry and sculpture, graduating in 1984. Newson was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council to stage his first exhibition where he presented his Lockheed Lounge Chair that would be purchased by the National Gallery of Southern Australia. Newson moved to Tokyo in 1989 where he met the owner of Idée, Teuro Kurosaki with whom he would produce numerous designs for over the years. From Tokyo, Newson moved to Paris before settling in London and opening his own design studio, Marc Newson Ltd. Not one to be categorized, Newson has designed cars, jets, and watches in addition to his iconic furniture. In 2005, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. His work is housed in the collections of several major museums around the globe including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

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