A few years ago at the Furniture Society Conference I met up with Vladimir Kagan at the time he was presented with the Award of Distinction. A jovial fellow, his designs were going in some new directions, but I really didn’t keep in touch, so I lost track of what he was working on.
This past spring I was at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in New York, and heard that they were working with him on a suite of pieces which was going to be a departure from some of his design-for-production work, and planning for a show in the fall. Unfortunately, Vladimir passed away in April at the age of 88, leaving the work unfinished, but well along in the process. The Carpenters Workshop Gallery continued the process, working from the models and bringing them to completion.
So last week I saw the pieces. My reaction was multi-layered.
First, what a wonderful body of work.
Second, how inspiring, that he is doing this in his late 80’s
Third, Holy cow, look at that sofa!
Jaw dropping. And exquisitely crafted. If you are a furniture maker, collector or just interested in design, you need to see this. And you need to see it now, before it goes to some private collector, never to emerge again. It is the culmination of a lifetime of design, art, sculpture and thought about furniture and the role it plays in our lives. And it is worth the trip to NY just to see it.
Enough said. I have much work to do.