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silvermine arts center

The Answer is Risom

Jens Risom

January 8 through February 16, 2014
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 12, 2-4pm




The upcoming exhibit "The Answer is Risom," will feature several of Mr. Risom's signature furniture designs from an influential career that has spanned over 70 years. Although he learned the trade in Denmark (he trained at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design), he is often counted among the American designers who were shaping postwar design, and indeed his most important contributions to the modern style were made after his emigration here in 1939. Mr. Risom's commitment to design also extended to his advertising. One of the more notable examples, a series of ads he did in the 1960's with famed fashion photographer, Richard Avedon will be included in the exhibition. Throughout the decades, Risom's work has continued to reflect our human need for warmth, beauty, and simplicity.

Mr. Risom first made his mark on the design world with his signature chairs, whose simple and elegant design incorporated surplus parachute straps into a birch frame. These chairs were some of the first designs to be manufactured by the critically acclaimed Knoll, Inc. (a collaboration that began in 1941) and lead to the development of the "Jens Risom Collection," which was featured in the company's first catalog. Knoll considers Jens Risom to be the first true Knoll designer. After his service in WWII, Mr. Risom ended his relationship with Knoll and formed his own company,,"Jens Risom Design," which he ran until the early 1970's. In the 1960's, Jens Risom, along with fellow Knoll designers, Charles Eames and Harry Bertoia, were noted as designers who were "revolutionizing furniture in America." Examples of his work can be found in many major institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery. A longtime resident of New Canaan, Connecticut, Risom is a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design and was knighted by Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1996. Jens Risom summed up his stylistic philosophy and his approach to interiors as, "good design means that anything which is good by itself will go with other things."

Sponsored by
Lead sponsor: Knoll
Black Creek Designs

Media Sponsor: Venu Magazine