The 45 Chair is the definition of a true masterpiece, and has become symbolic for Finn Juhl’s design genius. The chair was presented at the Copenhagen Cabinetmaker’s Guild Exhibition in 1945 and has been called “the mother of all modern chairs” by the Japanese professor and chair expert Mr. Noritsugu Oda.
This chair was one of the first to break free from the current tradition for armchairs by freeing the upholstered areas from the wooden frame. With the 45 Chair, Finn Juhl created an elegant chair in this innovative style that he had been working towards for many years. The result was a clean, strong and elegant chair and a quiet revolution.
The space between the frame and the seat creates a lightness, which, combined with its organic shape and sublime detailing, ensures a unique beauty. The chair is also extremely comfortable and thus appeals to all senses.
white oiled oak
clear lacquered oak
clear lacquered walnut
As a teenager, Finn Juhl (1912-1989) wanted to become an art historian, having a passion for the fine arts since childhood. His father stopped him and Finn Juhl started architectural studies. Later, when his fame as a designer of furniture acquired, he speaks of himself as an autodidact, in reference to this upset vocation that forced him to walk intellectually on a lonely way. His style owes much to this singular trajectory, with its non academic interpretation of art visible in his work. Finn Juhl started his studies in 1930, a key period which saw the birth of modern design and furniture.
His modern offices in central Copenhagen was greeting his visitors with a huge Japanese fish in paper, symbol of imagination. Rather than thinking in terms of practical construction, Finn Juhl had the mind-set of a sculptor, when he shaped a piece of furniture. In the 1940s and 1950s, this way of working had never been seen before. His ambition was to design furniture with movement and life.
Juhl took pride in making both the structurally supportive elements of the furniture and the seated person look as though they are floating. In some of his chairs, the backrest and the seat are almost invisibly joined, as if they were clouds floating through the room.
In creating his furniture, Finn Juhl worked with two elements: The carrying element, and the carried. He eventually became known for his special ability to separate the bearing parts from the borne. This is one of many examples of how he broke free from conventional working methods and found his inspiration in art.