Inroduction / Other Stools Stories:
Calder LegsOne of the striking influences in Kaufman's structural studies, which is expressed in his stools, comes from American sculptor Alexander Calder (1898-1976). Calder belonged to the kinetic art movement which engaged in the movement and development - real or imaginary - of shapes in space over time. He is also known as the originator of the artistic mobile in 1931.
Calder initially trained as a mechanical engineer, and began building motorized mobiles before he emerged as an artist. When he began engaging in sculpting in 1937 it was on a small scale, but quite quickly evolved into bigger and stronger models whose movement was based on wind.
Many of Calder's sculptures are based on bent steel that transforms them into stable three-dimensional structures. The shapes are amorphous, and their outlines look as though they were drawn by a child. One flat leg that transforms into three stable ones that only barely touch the ground - is one of Calder's prominent structures. This structure is expressed in several of Kaufman's stools, but with Kaufmanesque touches: at times the strip of material continues to the seat of the stool, and in one case the legs are stuck into a central wood cylinder.
Calder's method of creating a three-dimensional structure enables him to construct legs relatively fast and from flat material that does not require extensive processing. The resulting stool possesses a surprising esthetic that from certain angles almost seems to be hovering in midair.
Alexander Calder, Cat Mobile, 1966. Painted sheet metal and steel wire, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Loan, Calder Foundation, New York
Yaacov Kaufman, Stools inspired by Calder | Photograph: Itay Benit
Yaacov Kaufman, Stool inspired by Calder | Photograph: Itay Benit