When it came out in 1989, the Pilaster shelf surprised by the new way it presented books. Many competitors have tried to copy the original idea, without being able to rival the original model. Pilaster is now available in many versions: lacquered birch, oiled oak, black, and white. It can be used alone or in groups, without loosing its decorative effect.
Finishes lacquered solid birch, oiled solid oak, black stained birch and white lacquered birch.
White lacquered birch
John Kandell has contributed to a number of exhibitions, including the National Museum in Stockholm, the Norrköping Art Museum, Scandinavian Design, Japan, the United States, Design Art, Berlin and the Swedish Cultural Center in Paris. In 1989, John Kandell was awarded the newly created Formgivarpris (Designer's Prize) by Dagens Nyheter (Swedish national newspaper). In the same year he received a state grant for artists.
John Kandell is represented at the National Museum in Stockholm, the Röhsska Museum of Art and Crafts in Gothenburg, the Malmö Museum, the Norrköping Museum and the Swedish Arts Council, among others.
"How many designers have tested their powers on the chair? But only a few have managed to create a chair that is both unique and universally applicable. John Kandell is one of those few. In the 1950s, he designed furniture and interiors, and made forays into architecture, glass and textiles, among other things.
He worked with the leading Swedish architects of the time - Peter Celsing, Nils Tesch and, above all, Sven Ivar Lind. Classics were created. With HI-gruppen, the short-lived association of architects and cabinetmakers, he pushed the boundaries. The distinguishing features were refined proportions, vigorous lines and exquisite handling of materials. Some of these designs were ahead of their time, but they have been brought up to date. John Kandell always worked with discretion and sometimes minimally. In the 1980s, his exuberant comeback was a surprise. His work became more and more a synthesis of sculpture, painting, architecture and furniture. Playful and humorous, but at the same time with a sense of space, volume, balance, color and expression accumulated throughout his professional life. Picasso's graphic world and imagination inspired John Kandell. He likes to quote a phrase he read from Picasso: "a painting should be so simple that it could be sent to New York by telephone". The Pilster Shelf (1989) can be seen as an application of this quote. The design was sent to Källemo by telephone and, with its surprising and unerring simplicity, it has become one of the company's great successes.