Cross Check ~ Ribbons in the Wind

Continuing on the topic of sculptural designed furnishings and the contemporary movement, we now come to an artful piece from Knoll. The piece of art that I’m talking about is the Cross Check Arm Chair designed by Frank Gehry in 1992. Manufactured by Knoll, the Cross Check Arm Chair is a personal favourite, with a caveat. It looks great on its own in a quiet little corner of a room. But when several Cross Check Arm Chairs are thrown into the mix at a Dining Table, it all crumples like a broken apple crate (pun intended). Before we see why this is so, let’s go back to time to see the source of Frank Gehry’s inspirations and why it appeals to me.

Knoll Cross Check Arm Chair – A Piece of Art

The Cross Check Chair was inspired by the woven construction of apple crates from Frank Gehry’s childhood. Like other iconic pieces, Frank Gehry designed a series of furnishings with this unique ribbon-like looks. The curvy and flowy maple strips in the Cross Check Arm Chair scream elegance and organic design form. On its own, the strips of maple wood gives the impression that it is floating freely and naturally in the winds. The coordinated curves also portrayed the image of ribbons being tied together, hence giving it the nickname Ribbon Chair. The ribbon strips of maple soften the entire look of the chair to the extend that it looks like a piece of cloth. This is where it shines, as a sculpture and art in a corner.

Beautiful in Solitaire

However, it is also the same appeal that tears it apart when placed in masses. No disrespect to the architecture great as I am also a fan of the Cross Check Arm Chair, but minimalist fans most certainly will agree. The Cross Check Arm Chair’s great details work against it when it is placed together with other Cross Check Arm Chairs. Instead of cohesiveness in design when placing the same pieces together, the visual complexity of the ribbon strips in the chair makes a huge visual mess. So much so that the elegance were lost in the visual clutter and it could no longer be appreciated in the same capacity as when it is viewed alone. This is one piece of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde furniture, with an appeal that works for and against it. Interesting.

Great Attention to Details

Visual Clutter – Too Many Flowing Ribbons in View

Although it is unlikely that I will be seeing a Cross Check Arm Chair in my new home, it’s artful stance still appeal to me unlike no other Arm Chairs. The possibility of owning one is still there if the size of the new home is right. Without a space big enough to accommodate the Ribbon Chair, it will not stand out. If I ever own a piece of Frank Gehry’s art, it will be just one. One sitting quietly in a corner of a reading nook, yet creating the loudest visual impact to any visitors seeing it for the first time.

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