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Now reading: Reinterpretation of the RM58 armchair, a tribute to a Polish design icon

April 12, 2023 Behind the scenes

Reinterpretation of the RM58 armchair, a tribute to a Polish design icon

In homage to the traditions of Polish design, has teamed up with the vzor brand, whose mission is to bring to life the classics of Polish design - furniture designs originally created in the 1950s and 1960s, which at best were exhibited in museums, and at worst remained in the designers’ drawers.

The result of this collaboration is a new reinterpretation of the icon, the RM58 armchair, designed by painter, sculptor, and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź - Roman Modzelewski. Get to know the chair, whose prototype versions are presented in the most renowned museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the National Museum in Warsaw.

Exceptional designer

Born in Lithuania in 1912, furniture designer, painter, and sculptor Roman Modzelewski was a co-creator and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. He was an avant-garde and interdisciplinary artist.

Initially inspired by impressionism, he then experimented with form and color, moving towards solarization and cubism later on. Important issues in his paintings were the language of abstraction, geometric form, symbolism of color, and the meaning of texture. His first utility design project was the RM56 chair, made of plywood and a metal frame, for which he received an award at the 2nd National Interior Design Exhibition.

Forgotten masterpiece

For 50 years, the RM58 chair was not put into serial production and remained unknown to the wider public for half a century until its discovery by Professor Krystyna Łuczak-Surówka. Following this discovery, the chair was permanently included in the design history lecture program at the prestigious Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. It was where Jakub Sobiepanek, the founder of the vzor brand, became acquainted with it and decided to launch its production. Notably, the RM58 armchair was not featured in publications on Polish design until the early 2000s. However, over the last decade, it has transformed into an iconic piece of design. Its name, "RM58," derives from the initials of its creator, Roman Modzelewski, and the year of its inception.

Creation of RM58

After a few other experiments with plywood, he focused his interest on synthetic materials and began working on the RM58 armchair, whose reinterpretation we are introducing to the permanent offer today. This chair was an example of pioneering the use of epoxy laminate and was a unique example of a fully formed seat shell on a global scale. Le Corbusier expressed interest in its implementation in France, resulting in a patent in 1962, but production never came to fruition.

This armchair often appeared in the scenery of iconic Polish films of the last century, such as "Mr. Anatol Seeks the Millions" (1958), decorating the futuristic interiors of modernist buildings, or "Where Are You, Luizo?" (1964), appearing in the middle of a highway.

The original prototype versions were purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the National Museum in Warsaw, and probably the most important contemporary art museum in the world - MoMA in New York - regularly buys RM58 chairs for its design store.

Where history meets the present day

We are proud and yet somewhat humbled to be able to include in the offering such an exceptional and renowned project, which originates from the roots of our domestic design. The timeless form of the armchair, designed precisely 65 years ago, will be an excellent addition to contemporary interiors where respect for tradition, craftsmanship, and historical craft are important. It is available in two color versions: rusty red and light beige, and will find its place equally well among vivid environments as well as surrounded by subdued, natural materials.

Shop RM58 Armchair

RM58 Armchair Sale price €699 Regular price €999
RM58 Armchair Sale price €699 Regular price €999

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