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Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery Shows Exhibition by Influential Designer Verner Panton
A visitor sits on Verner Panton's "Phantasy Landscape" which is made of fabric, wood and foam rubber, at the Tokyo Opera city art gallery in Tokyo. Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon.

TOKYO.- Who is Verner Panton? If you are enquired about this name, you might think of Panton Chair that is the streamlined form with the first single-unit cantilevered chair made of molded plastic. Verner Panton, who was born in Denmark, immediately established himself at the forefront of avant-garde design in Europe in 1960's in consequence of producing famous design collaborating with industrial producers.

His works were not limited to single objects, but extend to the design of entire space like the product design, architecture – few of which were actually built – and the exhibition. At a glance, extravagant forms and the use of strong, intense colours might typify his work, but what he retained throughout his work was a systematic approach to design. For this reason, his interest didn't only reach to the furniture but entire space. Unfortunately, his singular design has not ever been reflected as the subject of the research in the design history, because of just the singularity.

This exhibition is the retrospective to present Panton's extensive and diverse work that the Vitra Design Museum planed and Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery originally organized. This exhibition focuses nearly 150 works of furniture, lightings, textiles, models, sketches and videos, etc., from the Vitra Design Museum collection, between the mid-fifties and the mid-seventies during which time he had a substantial influence upon the direction and development on international design. This exhibition, which presents his total space design, would provide the opportunity to look back on the past and look to the future in the modern design.

Starting with Panton Chair, the exhibition presents Panton's passion and history for his experiment and challenge.

First furniture collection
The exhibition shows Panton's first furniture collection – Tivoli Chair (1955) produced for the restaurant in Tivoli Park, Denmark; S-Chair, wooden single-unit cantilevered chair; Chair Cone (1958) which has the unique structure consisted of the conical metal shell and the pivot on a cross shaped metal base; the chair shaped like trumpet, Chair Trumpet, made of steel wire – that impressed his experimental passion and artistic stamp over the world.

Modular Furniture
Pantonova, which is consisted of a chromium-plated steel wire, could be assembled in various ways. This exhibition presents them that were very influential in the 1960's.

Panton Chair
Panton Chair is the icon in the design history in 20th for the first single-unit cantilevered chair made of molded plastic. The exhibition shows the changes of plastics to enable beautiful streamlined chair and the development process of it.

Experiential space: Phantasy Landscape and space consisted of design items by Panton

Phantasy Landscape
For this international tour, Vitra Design Museum reconstructed Phantasy Landscape room, which was the legendary interior represented at "Visiona 2" exhibition in Cologne Furniture Fair in 1970. The Bayer chemical company commissioned "Visiona 2" exhibition, the concept of which was the futuristic interior. In "Visiona 2" that was hold at the ship on the river Rhein, 24,000 visitors came in 4 days. In this exhibition, you could experience to be surrounded by 360°Panton's design in the cave-like colourful space around 8m x 6m x 2.4m.

Space by Panton
The extraordinary furniture of Verner Panton suggests the unique usage of space for example "Flying Chair" (1963) floating in space like the hammock; "Living Tower" (1968) which is a reclining chair with different sitting positions. In addition, "Ring Lamp" (1969), which was produced for "Visiona 2," fills the wall and the ceiling with colours, light and geometrical form so that creates the optical space.

Vitra Design Museum | Verner Panton | Panton Chair | Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery |

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November 28, 2009

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery Shows Exhibition by Influential Designer Verner Panton

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