Updated: Dec 18, 2019

The Barcelona chair is a chair designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. It was originally designed for the German Pavilion, that country's entry for the International Exposition of 1929, which was hosted by Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was first used in Villa Tugendhat, a World Heritage Site designed by Mies van der Rohe in the city of Brno (Czech Republic).

Today it gets a fresh new look with blown stainless steel, mirror polished seat & frame. All thanks to the genius of blown metal artist Stephen Newby.

Stephen Newby’s aim to challenge preconceived notions about the nature of materials and their possible forms has been the focus of his work to date, he has produced sculptural works which have varied from studio pieces to larger scale public art.

For the last two decades Newby’s work has been concerned with exploring his own process of forming stainless steel through inflating or 'blowing' as if it were glass. It is a way of sculpting that breathes life into metal and metamorphoses steel from a flat and unpliable state into a soft and dynamic form that almost appears organic rather than manufactured.

Blown metal

Protean mirror surfaces that almost defy the gaze appear in constant flux, enhanced by their interaction with light and movement - thus intensifying the relationship between object and viewer, sculpture and space.

This interplay between context and form is compelling: realism becomes obscured and the unmalleable and clinical appearance of steel is transformed into something soft, fluid and organic.

“…blown metal could be seen as a synthesis of a modern dialectic: the ‘organic’ and the ‘manufactured’…” (Newby, 1998)

Newby’s work attempts to confuse and question boundaries between forms, inviting uncertainty about the nature of each sculptural object.

"The transient beauty of each reflective surface creates a shifting and inconstant presence, somehow capturing a feeling of the ephemeral within the confines of the durable"  

Five Star Portugal - ORBSEO

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