Skip Navigation

Tom Loeser

The constructivist chairs of Tom Loeser, who heads the furniture design program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, sit at the other end of the scale from forms grown from organic materials. Loeser developed these chairs in the 1980s, producing several dozen with playful variations of geometry, color, and detail. Openly indebted to the work of the great De Stijl furniture designer and architect Gerritt Rietveld, Loeser melds the structural clarity of Rietveld’s Red/Blue and Berlin chairs, the irreverence of the Memphis movement of the 1970s, and the Shakers’ practice of storing their chairs on pegs on the wall. Loeser does the Shakers one better by hinging his chairs so they fold and hang flat. Also exhibited are two of Loeser’s wall-hung cabinets, a sampling of his witty and extensive interrogation of the whole notion of storage. Both of these examples feature the artist’s signature detail, painted corrugated surfaces formed by hand with a gouge. The handle of the vertical cabinet, Crictor Jr., curves out to offer itself to your hand, its bamboo-like segmentation forming a nice grip for your fingers.

— From Glenn Gordon's essay, Sculpture Designed to be Used.

  • Tom Loeser, One Folding Chair
    One folding chair. 1988. Wood, stainless steel, aluminum, paint. 34” H x 25” W x 22” D
  • Tom Loeser, 4-Square
    Crictor, Jr., open.
  • Tom Loeser, Crictor, Jr.
    Crictor, Jr., 2003. Wall-hung cabinet. Paint, wood. 24" H x 7" W x 8" D.