Friday, July 19, 2013

Martin Visser 1922-2009, Dutch Designer of Furniture

Martin Visser 1922-2009

Martin Visser did not start out intending to design furniture.  He studied Civil Engineering at a Technical School.  He designed his first piece of furniture for a friend.  Things just developed from there.  He worked originally as an architectural draughtsman, after that he worked in the furniture department of a large Department Store in Amsterdam.  It was here that he became familiar with the fabric company  De Ploeg and the furniture company Spectrum.  He began working for Spectrum in 1954as a Designer and also headed up their Collection.
Lounge Chair designed for Spectrum

Visser manage to maintain his love and appreciation of craft made pieces even with the industrial style of his designs.  He stretched the limits of his designs using craftsmen to execute his designs by cutting and welding  pieces rather than bending the metal parts.  He loved to utilize as little material as possible in his simple and sparse designs.  You can tell that he was greatly influence by pre- war functioalism, by his simple construction, honest use of materials and lack of decorations.
Sleeping Sofa BR03 for Spectrum 1960

Later in life he became Head Curator of modern art at the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.  Here he helped form their collection of modern pieces of the period.  He returned once more to design and Spectrum his inspirations came then from the art world and his designs were not as austere. He remained fascinated with the construction of the piece and experimented with various materials including cardboard and perforated  steel sheets.  Color also played a more important role in his work then.

He received many honors for his designs and is regarded as a treasure by the Dutch People.
Martin Visser teak and white credenza 1959 kw61


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