Furniture isn’t the kind of item you’d think would become a piece of art, but in these modern times, furniture has done little other than become centrepiece in the world of art. From its modern counterpart; modern art, to more abstract, contemporary and applied art – the use of furniture in art is overwhelming and everywhere.
Unlike other examples of culture, the boundaries of art are distorted and blurred, providing an artist with a strong gateway into experimenting and developing with some of the most unpredictable pieces. A lot of art pieces nowadays have also taken on the trait of being functional, whether to be featured as something to be sat on, a table to place items upon or as something to store items in, the day of an art piece being just for the wall has gone by us. Functional art also provides a reason for being for many modern pieces that may otherwise not have a place in an ever crowded art industry, and this functional art couldn’t have been any more successful. Gone are too the time of functional art being commonplace only in art galleries, nowadays you can pick up a piece of furniture from a local store that plays the same role. From rainbow glass tables to a spaghetti bench, that can twist and turn its way around furniture and walls, the divide between furniture and art is no longer.
In the Tate Modern museum alone, the like of a standard urinal (known as Fountain by Marcel Duchamp), a lobster on top of a telephone (Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dalí) and a photograph of a furniture showroom (Furniture Showroom by Lynne Cohen) are all examples of how fairly average pieces of furniture and their related items have been made up to be something, just by adding a few differentiations to the pack. These three examples are not alone either, for even the big furniture giants have made engraves into the world of introducing their furniture as an art piece.
Some may wonder how prominent art pieces that involve furniture achieve the strong polarity, such as the “Overturned Furniture” exhibit for example. The attraction which features an array of overturned tables and chairs disorderly placed within an empty room was one of the main attractions at London’s Serpentine Gallery and had many people wondering “why”. One reader to The Telegraph suggested that the artist “either had his grandchildren to visit or has just been burgled” while the art correspondent for the piece proclaims that some might see it as a “discarded study ready to be tidied up”. Despite this, the supporters of the artwork explain that the exhibit displays an image of order and disorder and allows the viewer to delve into re-evaluating everyday objects as something more significant.
The way in which everyday objects have become something other than their sole role of being a piece of furniture or an object used for a specific purpose signifies the increase of contemporary art – a popular art form in which art that involves furniture is able to thrive. Contemporary art, which allows artists to reflect their pieces on society and the issues relevant to ourselves and the world around them has always been an advancing type of art, changing with the times to best fit its art style.
Some examples of furniture providers utilising the style of modern art and contemporary culture into their products can be seen on our own store, with products we proudly offer. Apart from the rainbow glass tables, mentioned earlier in this piece, we also sell the technicolour Sloane armchair – complete with a funky and fun look that can be similarly seen on a span of products. Our Cadell Aged & Weathered Oak Display Unit in a contemporary oak wood design is also a great example of modernism within the art of furniture. So what’re you waiting for – with art embedded into the furniture of the future, it’s high time you got artistic!