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Vladimir Kagan

American, German, 1927-2016

The pioneers of modern furniture design in America in the mid-20th century all had their moments of flamboyance: Charles and Ray Eames produced the startling, biomorphic La Chaise; George Nelson’s firm created the Marshmallow sofa; Edward Wormley had his decadent Listen to Me chaise. But no designer of the day steadily offered works with more verve and dynamism than Vladimir Kagan. While others, it seems, designed with suburban households in mind, Kagan aimed to suit the tastes of young, sophisticated city-dwellers. With signature designs that feature sleekly curved frames and others that have dramatic out-thrust legs, Kagan made furniture sexy.

Kagan’s father was a Russian master cabinetmaker who took his family first to Germany (where Vladimir was born) and then to New York in 1938. After studying architecture at Columbia University, Kagan opened a design firm at age 22 and immediately made a splash with his long, low and sinuous Serpentine sofa. Furniture lines such as the Tri-symmetric group of glass-topped, three-legged tables and the vivacious Contours chairs soon followed.

Kagan’s choices of form and materials evolved through subsequent decades, embracing lucite, aluminum and burl-wood veneers. By the late 1960s, Kagan was designing austere, asymmetrical cabinets and his Omnibus group of modular sofas and chairs. For all his aesthetic élan, Kagan said that throughout his career, his touchstone was comfort. “A lot of modern furniture was not comfortable. And so comfort is: form follows function. The function was to make it comfortable,” he once commented. “I created what I called vessels for the human body.”

A diverse group of bodies have made themselves at home with Kagan designs. Among the famous names who commissioned and collected his designs are Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, Andy Warhol, David Lynch, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and firms such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani. His work is in numerous museum collections, including those of the Victoria & Albert and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Because of its idiosyncrasy, Kagan’s work did not lend itself to mass-production. Kagan never signed on with any of the major furniture-making corporations, and examples of his designs are relatively rare. As you will see from the offerings on 1stDibs, even decades after their conception, Kagan pieces still command the eye, with their freshness, energy, sensuality and wit.

Average Sold Price
$10,614
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Vladimir Kagan
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Serpentine Sofa
Serpentine Sofa
Omnibus I
Omnibus I
Barrel Chair 100A
Barrel Chair 100A
Crescent Chair
Crescent Chair
Vladimir Kagan Coffee Table
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in San Francisco, CA
A Vladimir Kagan "Snail" coffee table made of a walnut veneer base with original rectangular glass top.
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Glass, Walnut

  • Vladimir Kagan Coffee Table
  • Vladimir Kagan Coffee Table
  • Vladimir Kagan Coffee Table
  • Vladimir Kagan Coffee Table
H 14 in. Dm 22 in.
Vladimir Kagan Serpentine Cloud Sofa in Grey Chenille, 1990's
By Directional, Vladimir Kagan
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Designed by Vladimir Kagan in the early 1990's for Directional Furniture this Vladimir Kagan right arm serpentine cloud sofa is just gorgeous. Clad in a fine slate gray cotton chenil...
Category

1990s American Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Chenille

Vladimir Kagan Lightbox Cube Illuminated Walnut Table Stand
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Miami, FL
A Vladimir Kagan illuminated cube table. Walnut and white acrylic. Perfect for home or gallery application.
Category

1970s American Vintage Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Acrylic, Walnut

Vladimir Kagan Post Modern Ivory Bouclé Swivel Chairs & Ottoman for Directional
By Directional, Vladimir Kagan
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Post Modern Pair of Vladimir Kagan tilt and swivel chairs with en suite Ottoman for Directional newly reupholstered in soft luxurious Ivory White Bouclé. These are large statement pi...
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Upholstery, Bouclé

Stunning Vladimir Kagan Lucite and Burl Walnut Coffee Table Midcentury
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Pemberton, NJ
Stunning Vladimir Kagan Lucite and burl walnut coffee table. This wonderful table is in very nice vintage condition. The square is 40" x 40", the glass is 30" in diameter and the len...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Glass, Lucite, Burl

Pair of Vladimir Kagan Radius Round End Side Tables
By Adrian Pearsall, Vladimir Kagan
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Pair of Mid-Century Modern walnut chrome and glass tops round end side tables by Vladimir Kagan.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Chrome

Vladimir Kagan Sofas for Directional
By Directional, Vladimir Kagan
Located in Chicago, IL
Vladimir Kagan kidney shaped "cloud" sofa for Directional, designed in the 1960s. Only one sofa is currently available. The sofa on the bottom of the main image. Curved sofa with a...
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Fabric, Bouclé, Upholstery, Lucite, Wood

  • Vladimir Kagan Sofas for Directional
  • Vladimir Kagan Sofas for Directional
  • Vladimir Kagan Sofas for Directional
  • Vladimir Kagan Sofas for Directional
H 29 in. W 94 in. D 47 in.
Pair of Vladimir Kagan Nautilus Swivel Lounge Chairs and Ottoman in Ivory Bouclé
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Amongst the most popular Vladimir Kagan designs, these Nautilus swivel lounge chairs are sculptural, comfortable and fun, and were recently professionally reupholstered in cozy Ivory...
Category

Late 20th Century American Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Bouclé

Browse all Furniture from Vladimir Kagan
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Vladimir Kagan Sellers

Vladimir Kagan furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Vladimir Kagan furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are often made of fabric and designed with extraordinary care. There are many choices to choose from in our Vladimir Kagan collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. 178 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 21 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Vladimir Kagan were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Thayer Coggin, Directional and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Prices for Vladimir Kagan furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $1,020 and tops out at $60,000, while pieces like these can sell for $11,900 on average.

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