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Marc Newson (b. 1963)
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Marc Newson (b. 1963)

Lockheed Lounge LC-1

Details
Marc Newson (b. 1963)
Lockheed Lounge LC-1
impressed 'Basecraft Sydney'
aluminium sheets, blind rivets, fibreglass
34½ x 24 x 64½in. (87.5 x 61 x 164cm.)
Designed in 1985, this work is number seven from an edition of ten
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in February 1993.
Literature
A. Rawsthorn, Marc Newson, London 1999 (another example illustrated, pp. 18-21).
C. Lloyd Morgan, Marc Newson, New York 2002 (another example illustrated, pp. 154-155).
A. von Vegesack (ed.), 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection, exh. cat., Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 1996 (another example illustrated, pp. 172-173).
S. Nichols (ed.), Aluminium by Design, exh. cat., Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2000 (another example illustrated, p. 264 and front and back covers).
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Lot Essay

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, signed and dated by the artist.







In 1985 at the age of 23, Australian-born Marc Newson exhibited his now iconic Lockheed Lounge LC-1, a dynamic and energetic form that represented a stylistic breakthrough from the high-tech constructivism that characterised mainstream 1980s design. The Lockheed offered a vision that was subtly antique yet strikingly futuristic, fastened by 1930s streamlining and embracing a vision of science fiction fantasy.

Named in hommage to the Machine-Age aesthetic of the American aircraft manufacturer, the Lockheed Lounge LC-1 was imbued with a sequence of subtle yet highly personal influences. Newson adopted the faux serial number LC-1 in deference to Le Corbusier's classic chromed steel 'LC-2' lounge chair of 1928, itself a design that was a deftly ironic modernisation of a traditional seating form. Most unusual, however, was Newson's decision to model his seat as a chaise-longue, a relatively outmoded furniture type in the late- twentieth century, and a decision that was loosely stimulated by Jacques-Louis David's 1900 'Portrait of Madame Récamier'. With the resonance of nineteenth century classicism inherant in the model, Newson sought to assure the design's modernity by sheathing the entire surface with a seamless coat of aluminium. Proving technically impossible, Newson turned to his skills and training as a jeweller, and proceeded to carefully cut and rivet thin aluminium panels to the hand sculpted fibreglass understructure. Despite artisanal and successfully improvised technique the completed structure offered a seamless, metallic hourglass vision that suggested, in the words of one contemporary commentator, 'a giant blob of mercury'.

Produced for an exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Sydney, the prototype Lockheed was purchased by the National Gallery of Southern Australia, and images of the prototype swiftly circulated to international praise. Newson reworked the technical shortcomings of the original prototype to produce the Lockheed as a limited edition. An early and enthusiastic supporter was Philippe Starck, who in 1990 acquired an example for use in the lobby of Ian Schrager's Paramount Hotel, New York. In 1993 the Lockheed was brought to a wider audience when featured as the centrepiece in Madonna's 1993 video for her single, 'Rain'. Two years later Vitra Design Museum included the Lockheed in their highly influential travelling exhibition of 100 Masterpieces, and in 2000 the chaise was the focus of the Carnegie Art Museum's aluminium retrospective.

That the Lockheed should have been immediately embraced by such positive cultural and academic acclaim underlines the visionary aesthetic of the chaise. Reflected against the monochrome linear geometry of corporate 1980s design, the Lockheed persists as a solitary example of organic design, a shimmering bolide form that recalls the biomorphic sculptures of Jean Arp, Alexander Archipenko and Isamu Noguchi. Reviewed twenty years after the sale of the 1985 prototype, the hand-built Lockheed can be confirmed as having inaugurated the aesthetic vocabulary of twenty-first century design. Now furnished with advanced computor technologies and aided by newly-developed materials, the designers and architects of the new millenium, of which Newson remains at the forefront, have succeeded in liberating form from structure to actualise the futuristic sensuality heralded by the Lockheed.

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