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April 24, 2021

‘L’ultra-meuble’ by Kurt Seligmann, 1938

Kurt Seligmann’s ‘L’ultra-meuble’, a stool made of four realistic legs wearing high-heeled shoes joined above the bent knees to form a stool – a combined piece of furniture and objet fabriqué exhibited in the Paris Surrealist Exhibition in 1938.

Raoh Schorr, a Swiss sculptor working in London, had created a number of glass-topped tables supported by realistically modeled human legs for display purposes a year or two previously and Costa’s table in the form of an over-scaled hand equally antedates ‘L’ultra-meuble’ by at least three years.

This absorption during the thirties with portions of human anatomy as decorative objects concentrated even more upon the hand, and in this the trends of surrealism and Victoriana found a motif in common. Man Ray, Max Ernst and Joyen had all at one time or another used the human hand, divorced from the body. as an element in their paintings or sculptures.


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