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November 7, 2022

In 1971, a French Designer Covered a Model With Plaster to Create a Mold for the “Homme” Chair

In 1971, French designer Ruth Francken took a fine looking young man and copied his beautiful backside with plaster to create a mold for the Homme Chair (“homme” is French for “man”).

The procedure to create this unique chair is supervised by the artist. A limited edition of the chair in various colored plastic material was sponsored by Scte. Eric and Xiane Germain, Paris. The base is made of stainless steel tubing. The plaster is made directly on the model.

In 1983, Francken reissued the Homme in a numbered edition with Felix Canetti and the Galerie X Plus. After Canetti’s death she continued production on her own and went on numbering the copies sequentially.

Ruth Francken (1924–2006) was a Czech-American sculptor, painter, and furniture designer who was mostly active in Paris. Born in Prague in 1926, Ruth Francken’s life and career would span over six decades, two continents, and more than half a dozen countries. After studying painting from 1939-1940 at the Ruskin School in Oxford, England, she moved to New York, where she studied at the Art Students League of New York. After becoming an American citizen in 1942, she worked as a textile designer until 1949, when she left the United States for Europe. After a two-year period in Venice (1950-1952), she moved to Paris, where she lived until her death in 2006, save for two years in the 1960s and 1970s when she worked out of Berlin and Santa Barbara, California.

Ruth Francken was considered an Abstract Expressionist in her early career, until around 1964. After this point she began working with object sculptures, collage, and different textiles and techniques, and her art took on a more surrealist and pop-art aesthetic. She focuses heavily on problems and disconnects in communication. Her work was recently featured in an international exhibit, initially created by Tate Modern in London, titled “The World Goes Pop.”


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