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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
$11,064
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 Nautilus Swivel Chairs
By Directional, Vladimir Kagan
Located in Chicago, IL
Vladimir Kagan Nautilus Swivel chairs, Foe Directional original fabric, gently used.
Category

1990s American Mid-Century Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Upholstery

  • Vladimir Kagan Nautilus Swivel Chairs
  • Vladimir Kagan Nautilus Swivel Chairs
  • Vladimir Kagan Nautilus Swivel Chairs
  • Vladimir Kagan Nautilus Swivel Chairs
H 29.50 in. W 36 in. D 36 in.
20th Century White American Pair of Nautilus Swivel Chairs by Vladimir Kagan
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A vintage Mid-Century Modern American pair of Nautilus swivel lounge chairs, designed by Vladimir Kagan in good condition. The seat backrest of the Nautilus chairs are arched, compos...
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Fabric, Bouclé, Upholstery, Wood

Pair of Sofas by Vladimir Kagan for Directional
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Dallas, TX
A pair of serpentine / cloud sofas designed by Vladimir Kagan for Directional. Fully restored and upholstered in Holly Hunt / Los Cabos /Steam fabric.
Category

1970s Vintage Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Fabric

3 Piece Modular Sofa by Vladimir Kagan for Preview, 1988
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Chicago, IL
3 piece modular sectional so````fa by Vladimir Kagan for Preview, 1988. Original white fabric is in good condition.
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Upholstery

Vladimir Kagan Wingback Swivel Chair and Ottoman
By Vladimir Kagan, Directional
Located in Las Vegas, NV
Iconic Vladimir Kagan for Directional wingback tilt and swivel lounge chair with matching ottoman. Both the chair and ottoman are newly reupholstered in gray bouclé fabric. The chair...
Category

Late 20th Century Post-Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Bouclé

Vladimir Kagan for Directional 'Cloud' Sofas in New Nubby Bouclé, c 1980, Signed
By Directional, Vladimir Kagan
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This spectacular pair of Vladimir Kagan 'Cloud' sofas were produced by Directional in circa 1980 and were newly reupholstered in a gorgeous nubby bouclé fabric, both sofas signed und...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Bouclé, Lucite

Vladimir Kagan Curved Zoe Sofa in White Boucle for American Leather, Signed
By Vladimir Kagan, American Leather
Located in Culver City, CA
This sofa by Vladimir Kagan for American Leather has all the great staples of a Kagan design, gorgeous free-form curves, modern design, and effortlessly chic. This Zoe sofa is very s...
Category

Early 2000s Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Bouclé

Vladimir Kagan Nautilus Sofa in Ivory White Bouclé by Directional, c. 1990
By Vladimir Kagan, Directional
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Newly and professionally reupholstered Post Modern Nautilus sofa in ivory white bouclé by acclaimed designer Vladimir Kagan and made by Directional circa 1980. Known for his love of ...
Category

1990s American Post-Modern Vladimir Kagan

Materials

Upholstery, Bouclé

Browse all Furniture from Vladimir Kagan
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Vladimir Kagan Sellers

More Vladimir Kagan Designs
Contour Low Back Lounge Chair 175E
Contour Low Back Lounge Chair 175E
Average Price
$18,400
Number Available
1
Contour Low Back Lounge Chair 175E
By Vladimir Kagan
Materials
Fabric, Walnut, Wood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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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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