Monday, July 13, 2009

Garry Knox Bennett: Furniture as Punk Rock

Garry Knox Bennett became infamous in the craft/design community in the seventies when he created a beautiful cabinet with exquisite joinery and drove a twisted two inch nail through the front of it. It was his comment on the craft fetishism of much of the contemporary studio carpentry scene, and it drove the furniture nerds up the wall.
Right now is a great opportunity to see a whole bunch of Bennett if you're in DC. He has designed 82 chairs and counting, 52 of which are currently being exhibited at the American University Museum at the Katzen Center, in an exhibition called Garry Knox Bennett: Call Me Chairmaker.
The now out of print book on Bennett - titled Made in Oakland - has a really great essay on the history of the maker end of the American design scene and especially the Bay Area influence on it. You can get the book used or order it through his website. It's really worth getting to know Bennett's work and the great writing on it.
Some of my favorite earlier pieces are his hilarious lamps, which look like empty tin cans full of various crap - except some of it lights up.

Pictures from Garry Knox Bennett's websites and Limn.

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