Friday, March 27, 2009
Pavel Janak was a pioneer of the Czech cubist movement who studied under Otto Wagner from 1906 and 1908. While he dealt mostly with architectural designs he was also well regarded among woodworking circles for his well crafted and interesting angular furniture. He is also known for his scathing articles on modernist architecture claiming that "only through the violence and disruption of an angled plane cutting through horizontal and vertical lines could you animate lifeless matter and create structures bursting with dynamic energy." Pavel was influenced by his teacher Otto Wagner as well as Picasso and the cubist painters. Aside from making furniture for private collectors and architectural design, Janak also created many famous designs for Artel a company that was founded in Prague in 1908. Artel was comprised of several prominent figures of the Czech art scene who came together to design and manufacture “minor art for everyday use” — decorative items for everyday use such as coffee sets and furniture. Janak's coffee sets were famous for their modernist use of the "zigzag" pattern, and his white geometric "diamond" box is often brought up as a perfect example of Czech cubist movement.
I found the chairs to be very interesting and dynamic. While i appreciate the sharp diagonals i would never incorporate a similar design into a table because i don't feel that i have the technical expertise available to do so just yet.