Property from an Distinguished Private Collection


executed prior to 1990; beaten and cut aluminum panels, riveted to fiberglass structure, fitted with five drawers, painted wood feet
50 3/8 in. (128 cm.) high, 28 in. (71 cm.) wide, 18 1/4 in. (46 cm.) deep
Tyrone Dearing, Sydney (acquired directly from the artist);
Private collection, Europe;
Christie's, New York, 16 May 2007, lot 3;
Halsey Minor, California;
Phillips, de Pury & Co, 9 June 2010, lot 220 (acquired at the sale by the present owner).
M. Romanelli, "Marc Newson: Progetti tra il 1987 e 1990," Domus, n. 714, March 1990, p. 67 for another example illustrated;
A. Rawsthorn, Marc Newson, London, 1999, pp. 22-23 for another example illustrated;
H. Jay, "Rising Design Stars," Art and Antiques, vol. XXIX, no. 4, April 2001, p. 61 for another example illustrated;
S. Crafti, Request, Response, Reaction: The Design of Australia & New Zealand, Victoria, 2002, p. 86 for another example illustrated;
C. L. Morgan, Marc Newson, London, 2003, p. 166 for another example illustrated;
B. Salmon, ed., Masterpieces of the Museum of Decorative Arts Paris, Paris, 2006, pp. 206-207 for another example illustrated.

The present Pod Of Drawers will be included as 'MN - 12PDB - 1987' in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of limited editions by Marc Newson, currently being prepared by Didier Krzentowski of Gallery Kreo, Paris.

Lot Essay

In 1986 at the age of 23, Australian-born Marc Newson exhibited his now iconic Lockheed Lounge, a dynamic and energetic form that represented a stylistic breakthrough from the high-tech constructivism that characterized mainstream 1980s design. Created from sculpted fiberglass, the organic form was covered with thin non-overlapping sheets of aluminum, blind-riveted to the shell. Shortly after the sale of the prototype Lockheed to Australia's National Gallery of Victoria, Newson moved to London where he began to work upon the chaise's companion design, the Pod of Drawers, in 1987.

The Pod and the Lockheed share a metallic, visual weightlessness and a rounded, hourglass form that at once references the antique while remaining strikingly modern. Newson had originally envisaged that his surfaces be entirely sheathed in a seamless coat of aluminum, however had concluded that the only means by which to affix the metal was by laborious and detailed handcraft. During his studies at Sydney College of the Arts, Newson had studied sculpture and jewelry design – training that taught him how to use metals and to construct three-dimensionally, and crucially, how to modify from available resources.

Newson named his Lockheed in homage to the Machine-Age aesthetic of the American aircraft manufacturer, and the form itself was loosely motivated by Jacques-Louis David's 1800 Portrait of Madame Recamier. Similarly, the Pod of Drawers again owed inspiration to historical European forms, and references the anthropomorphic creations of André Groult. For a progressive and youthful designer in the late 1980s, this represents a highly individual point of reference and it is precisely this synthesis of the Antique with the new that infuses Newson's early experimental creations with their unique magnetism. Groult's chiffonier of 1925 featured a vertical arrangement of slender drawers within an undulating bombé profile, the surfaces applied with a radically-veneered display of luxurious sharkskin panels. Newson reinterprets the surface using aluminum segments with pronounced rivets, and invests the form with tactile athleticism. With the Pod's surface, Newson has mastered the decorative potential of the technique he improvised for the Lockheed and has created a luminescent, bespoke cabinet that acknowledges its precedents in form and technique, yet offers radical departure in terms of material, texture and context. The Lockheed and the Pod of Drawers must be considered as eloquent companion pieces, fluent in their streamlined fantasy aesthetic.

The present lot is one of the earliest examples of the Pod of Drawers, and is distinguished from later examples by the complex stud-work of rivets delivering a radially-applied mosaic of delicate aluminum fragments, each filed, applied and polished by hand.

PULL QUOTE: ... `I set up a tent to work in on a little terrace by my London flat. It was horrendous, one of the freezing cold British winters, and I had to make sure the temperature didn't drop below 10 degrees or the fibreglass would have stayed wet forever. I had to get out a hairdryer and blow it into the tent to keep it warm.' Marc Newson on executing the first Pod of Drawers in 1987

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