Offered by: Linea Gallery
Via San Terenziano Chiavari 16043 , Italy Call Seller


Franco Albini Gala chair by Bonacina, Italy, 1951

$ 7,905
  • Description
    A beautiful chair in bamboo and straw, Gala model, designed by Franco Albini in 1951, produced by Bonacina.

    The Gala chair, designed in 1951, embodies all the desires for novelty and progress necessary to move away from the rubble of the war that had ended just a few years prior. It carries a longing and confidence in the future while maintaining an intimate connection with a tradition, particularly the folk tradition, seen as a repository of shared human values still deeply felt. The choice of materials, such as rattan, bamboo, and bark, intentionally evokes and seeks to emulate the craftsmanship of rural basket weavers. In realizing this project, there are echoes of a rustic tradition, characterized by slow rhythms and meticulous attention to detail, which mass production seemed intent on erasing by catering to the masses. Hence, designers with a keen sensitivity seek genuine dialogue with tradition by employing age-old materials in their creations, thereby reaffirming the centrality of humanity as both the starting point and the ultimate destination of every project.

    The Gala chair, with its rounded sections, is designed to comfortably accommodate the contours of the body, supporting the weight of the person through the elasticity of curved rattan, akin to the large baskets and hampers that, in rural settings, bore the weight of fruits during transportation on the shoulders of men or the backs of mules. However, Albini's design pushes further. By harnessing the evocative power of reeds and materials strongly symbolically connected to images of nature, the sea, and the sun, the designer chooses to strip the chair bare. He envisions a chair devoid of fabric, padding, or covering.

    To the discerning observer, this object appears not as a mere skeleton, a mere celebration of structure, but as the perfect result of the material's own expressiveness. If by chance, in the sunlight of some dreamy landscape, a reed were to grow and coil itself, completely free from constraints, until it assumed the form of a seat, the result would be this chair, just as Albini envisioned it.

    The Gala chair is a refined design that has garnered continuous recognition throughout its history. It was awarded the Gold Medal at the IX Milan Triennale, exhibited at the MoMA in New York, and at the Vitra Design Museum. The production is by Bonacina, a historic brand long committed to the finest furniture craftsmanship.

    The presented specimen has undergone expert restoration to ensure its functionality while preserving the authenticity of its era.

    Dimensions: 89W x 90D x 109H
  • More Information
    Documentation: Documented elsewhere (similar item)
    Origin: Italy
    Period: 1950-1979
    Materials: Bamboo,Straw
    Condition: Good. Replacements made: Straw replacements. Refinished. Wear consistent with age and use.
    Styles / Movements: Modern, Mid Century
    Incollect Reference #: 722955
  • Dimensions
    W. 35.04 in; H. 42.92 in; D. 35.44 in;
    W. 89 cm; H. 109.02 cm; D. 90.02 cm;
    Seat H. 15.75 in;
    Seat H. 40.01 cm;
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