Prototype "Lockheed Lounge", 1988
Fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin core, blind-riveted sheet aluminum, paint. 34 1/2 x 65 3/4 x 24 1/2 in. (87.6 x 167 x 62.2 cm). Handmade by Marc Newson at Basecraft for Pod, Australia. Unique prototype with white feet in addition to the edition of ten plus four artist's proofs. Underside impressed with "BASECRAFT."
PROVENANCE Marc Newson, Australia; Private Collection, Australia; Sotheby's, Important 20th Century Design, New York, June 14, 2006, Lot 162; Sebastian + Barquet, New York
LITERATURE Davina Jackson, "Open the Pod Door," Blueprint, February 1990, pp. 28-29; Mario Romanelli, "Marc Newson: Progetti tra il 1987 e il 1990," Domus, March 1990, p. 67; Alexander von Vegesack, et al., eds., 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection, exh. cat., Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 1996, pp. 172-173; Mel Byars, 50 Chairs: Innovations in Design and Materials, Crans-Prés-Celigny, 1997, pp. 94-97; Alice Rawsthorn, Marc Newson, London, 1999, pp. 18-21; Charlotte and Peter Fiell, eds., 1000 Chairs, Cologne, 2000, p. 605; Sarah Nichols, Aluminum by Design, exh. cat., Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2000, front and back covers and p. 264; Conway Lloyd Morgan, Marc Newson, London, 2002, pp. 154-155; Benjamin Loyauté, "Le Design Aluminium au XXe Siècle," Connaissance des Arts, October 2003, p. 98; Marc Newson Pop On Pop Off, exh. cat., Groninger Museum, 2004, pp. 1 and 12-13; Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov, Blobjects and Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design, San Francisco, 2005, p. 38; Phaidon Design Classics, Volume Three, London, 2006, no. 860; Deyan Sudjic, The Language of Things, London, 2008, front cover and pp. 206-207; Sophie Lovell, Limited Edition: Prototypes, One-Offs and Design Art Furniture, Basel, 2009, p. 249; David Linley, Charles Cator and Helen Chislett, Star Pieces: The Enduring Beauty of Spectacular Furniture, New York, 2009, front cover and p. 198
The prototype "Lockheed Lounge" will be included as "MN-1LLW-1988" in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of limited editions by Marc Newson being prepared by Didier Krzentowski of Galerie kreo, Paris. The present prototype "Lockheed Lounge" is the only example with "white" exposed fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin feet. All other examples have rubber-coated black feet. All examples of the "Lockheed Lounge" were built at Basecraft, a small Sydney workshop where Newson developed his "LC1" chaise longue in 1985-1986. That chair was first exhibited at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney, June 1986, and is now in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Although a markedly different chair, Newson's "LC1" led to the present form, the "Lockheed Lounge," of which fifteen exist: the prototype (the present lot), four artist's proofs, and a further edition of ten. Newson began producing "Lockheed Lounges" in 1988. In the order of their acquisition, examples of the "Lockheed Lounge" are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein; and Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Phillips de Pury & Company would like to thank Marc Newson and Didier Krzentowski for their assistance in cataloging this lot. With regard to date, description, manufacture, material, and catalogue raisonné number, this entry supersedes all previous publications of this particular "Lockheed Lounge." At Sydney College of the Arts, Newson studied sculpture, jewelry, and furniture design. In 1984 he graduated with the outlines of a plan: technical materials, futurism, fluidity—and with inexperience, the burden of every graduate. The following year he conceived his "LC1" chaise longue (a precursor to the "Lockheed Lounge"), which he exhibited at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney in June 1986. Unsatisfied with the scrolling backrest of that first chair, he refined its lines and arrived at the present form. Newson shaped "Lockheed Lounge" from foam, as one would a surfboard "blank," with a wire brush and a Stanley Surform plane. His intention had been to cover its fiberglass core with a single sheet of aluminum: "I tried laminating it, but the thing fell apart…Eventually, I came up with the idea of beating little pieces of metal into shape with a wooden mallet, and attaching them with rivets." (Alice Rawsthorn, Marc Newson, London, 1999, p. 5) A hallmark of Newson's later work is "seamlessness," to borrow from Louise Neri. Smoothness triumphs: neither joint nor junction disrupts the contours of his Alessi tray, for example, or his extruded marble tables shown at Gagosian Gallery in 2007. "Lockheed Lounge," furrowed with seams, beguiles for the opposite reason: imperfection. Flat-head rivets literally and visually suture together a patchwork of aluminum. Coarse seams betray Newson's limitations, but the chair's fluid silhouette affirms its maker's search for a clear ideal. At its core—fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin—"Lockheed Lounge" is seamless. In 1943 the Lockheed Corporation transformed air travel by christening its L049 Constellation, a radical airliner capable of transatlantic runs at 300 mph. Nearly a half century later, Newson transformed the design market with his coyly named "LC1" chaise lounge, an immediate critical success (purchased by the Art Gallery of South Australia). But like the Constellation—a propellerdriven plane—Marc Newson had not yet achieved Mach 1 speeds. The handwrought curves of his chair hint at fundamental human limitations while simultaneously suggesting the perfection of industrial processes. "Lockheed Lounge," a paragon of youthful ambition, engendered all of Newson's later preoccupations with flow and speed.