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"Blongo" Side Chair

Decorative Arts and Design

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
MEDIUM Birch plywood
  • Place Manufactured: New York, United States
  • DATES ca. 1984
    DIMENSIONS 27 1/8 x 15 x 17 1/2 in. (68.9 x 38.1 x 44.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS no marks
    SIGNATURE Signed on underside of base in pencil, in script: "Leo Black[...] #2"
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    CREDIT LINE H. Randolph Lever Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fancifully shaped, low side chair in natural finish, cut out birch plywood. The chair is composed of separately articulated parts all fitted together: rear legs/back unit, seat, and two front legs. Rear legs/back unit has horizontal cylinder at top (forms a back support); two closely spaced, parallel pieces of wood extend from this cylinder to the floor; their front edge is straight above the seat, bulges out below the seat (forming a little shelf which helps to support the seat), and then curves back inward to the floor; their back edge slopes gently from the cylinder then straightens out at bottom. These two parallel pieces are joined by horizontal members evenly spaced between the cylinder and seat (open below seat to form two closely spaced rear legs). Seat has straight edge across front, then curves to side and rear (forming "U"). In profile elevation, the two front legs are shaped like trapezoids with top (under seat) wider than bottom (foot), and straight side along front and angled side at back. Stretchers and legs support seat. When the rear legs/back unit is viewed obliquely from the rear, it resembles a Cubist violin or guitar: the cylinder and upper portion resemble the scroll and neck and fingerboard of a violin; the bottom portion resembles a section from the body of the instrument. This unit also has anthropomorphic qualities, looking like a schematized spine with vertebrae. CONDITION: Some minor chips to front plywood edges of rear-leg/back unit. Thin coat of polyurethane (?) finish to wood.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    CAPTION Leo Blackman (American, born 1956). "Blongo" Side Chair, ca. 1984. Birch plywood, 27 1/8 x 15 x 17 1/2 in. (68.9 x 38.1 x 44.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 85.161. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.161_bw_IMLS.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 85.161_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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