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Rupert Carabin (1862 - 1952)

1896 chair by Rupert Carabin

1896 chair

[...] but a chair by the French designer/sculptor Francois-Rupert Carabin is so overt that it makes the SM furniture of the pop artist Allen Jones look like suburban chintz. Smoothly carved from walnut, the high-backed armchair is at first notable only for its arms - each one taking the form of a sleek symbolic cat. But as it revolves (it is mounted on a motorised plinth for the purpose) you see the back of the chair. It is the back of a naked, kneeling woman. Her legs become the chair's back legs. Her knees are tied by a strap. She glances over her shoulder at you, somewhat apprehensively. Who can blame her? This was 1896 and women's definition of themselves - their work, their dress, their political aspirations - was changing. Artists such as Carabin, however, belonged to a misogynist set which celebrated sexual subjugation. --http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/di25/nouveau.htm


[...] but the nudes carved by French sculptor Rupert Carabin are realistically plain and dumpy. This makes his wooden chair of 1896 with a naked woman bound to its back all the more disturbing, and a far cry from the Scot Charles Rennie Mackintosh's oak chair of 1904 with its pattern of ribs set at strict right angles. --http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/2000/0619/nouveau.html

Art Nouveau [...]

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