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Vladimir Kagan 'Contour' Lounge Chair in Patterned Upholstery



Vladimir Kagan for Dreyfuss, 'Contour' high back chair, teak and fabric, United States, 1953 This lounge chair by Kagan is sculptural and delicate. The frame, executed in teak and carved in an exquisite manner. The hind legs are long and protrude elegantly outwards. The hind legs flow over upwards to a backrest supporting the construction. The organic shaped armrests are connected to each other in the back. There are several versions of the 'Contour' chair by Kagan. As Kagan explains himself, the chairs are designed in an organic manner. One form leads to the next.  Vladimir Kagan (1927-2016) born in Germany, grew up in the United States where his father opened a cabinet shop. Later, Kagan joined the family business. Here the designer experiments with organically sculpted wood in works that become the hallmarks of his career. Kagan himself explains that his father always said 'measure three times and cut once' whereas Kagan did exactly the opposite. He also believed that there was no way that ratio could replace dumb luck. Kagan's furniture has the extraordinary ability to completely change the landscape of the room even it is with one single object. Kagan's work looks truly original, even up to today. VAT within the EU: When buying or delivering an item within the EU, VAT usually applies and will be added.


  • Creator
    Vladimir Kagan (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 36.82 in. (93.5 cm)Width: 33.86 in. (86 cm)Depth: 35.44 in. (90 cm)Seat Height: 14.97 in. (38 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Refinished. Wear consistent with age and use. Every item Morentz offers is checked by our team of 30 craftsmen in our in-house workshop. Special restoration or reupholstery requests can be done. We guarantee a very highquality standard, ask our design specialists for detailed information.
  • Seller Location
    Waalwijk, NL
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 450139951stDibs: LU933121944492

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: Waalwijk, Netherlands
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About Vladimir Kagan (Designer)

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.

About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in Waalwijk, Netherlands

Established in 2006, Morentz has a team of approximately 55 restorers, upholsterers, interior advisers and art historians, making it a gallery, workshop and upholstery studio, all in one. Every day, a carefully selected array of 20th-century furniture arrives from all over the world at the firm’s warehouse, where the team thoroughly e...

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Established in 2006
1stDibs seller since 2012
3,126 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
20th Century Specialists
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