Ib Antoni (1929-1973)
Denmark, Famous for Fine Furniture (1964)
99 x 62cm
Ib Antoni Jensen designed this poster for Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1964. In the 60s, the Danish government was keen to promote Danish-designed furniture to the international market, and commissioned artists to design advertisements.
The poster features Hans J Wegner, the Danish furniture designer famous for creating the ‘Y chair’, also known as the ‘Wishbone chair’. In the poster, he sits on a tree trunk and holds one of his chairs aloft – the artist’s design emphasises the relationship between the piece of furniture and the high-quality natural materials from which it has been created. The chair in the poster was known as “The Chair” when it was used in the TV-transmitted debate between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1959. The Chair subsequently became an icon of Danish mid-century furniture design.
Antoni was a very popular Danish poster artist. His work is particularly collectible because of his creative responses to the commissions he received. While working to his clients’ briefs, he succeeded in creating thousands of designs which are notably ‘Antoni’ in style. He worked during the era referred to as the Danish Modern, and was a pioneer of the era’s visual style. He was known across Europe as the ‘national illustrator of Denmark’ because of his body of work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and his patriotic presentation of Denmark and its national, near-mythic narratives. He died aged 44, leaving his story as one of Denmark’s (and Europe’s) greatest commercial visual artists unfinished.
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