Hendrickson’s artistic practice has been described as “extravagant, magical and yet paradoxically pragmatic” and is summed up in Chair. Designed by the artist for his own use, the object incorporated and enabled his mobility, activity and communication but was also primarily a gracefully balanced geometric sculpture. Its clean lines possess the economy of a Classical temple or a Mondrian painting. Yet Hendrickson’s chair was built using the dimensions of his own body as its standard of measurement rather than a universal metric.
His painstaking approach involved searching the woodshop for the right materials and working with studio assistants to make cuts according to his precise specifications. He built Chair by hand, in his most comfortable position on the floor, using tools adapted for his use, over the course of a year. The final work, a testimony to his patience and focus, was finally animated by Hendrickson himself seated within.
Medium: Wood and Fabric
Courtesy of Creative Growth Art Center
Chair, by Carl Hendrickson. 1992 Wood and fabric
Dimensions in inches, in order of height, width, and depth: 54×21×46
The work is a wooden structure resembling a throne with several functional attachments added to it. The chair was built by and for the artist, with rectangular component lengths of wood fully apparent. Functional attachments to the chair include armrests, a table, and a shelf positioned above the user’s head. The chair’s color is primarily a pale green, with its table surface black, and a few pieces unpainted. The chair has cushions at its seat and headrest. The fabric of these cushions is pink, with a pattern of oranges and leaves. At the chair’s base, its four legs terminate in two horizontally oriented lengths of wood. These lengths support casters for easy movement of the chair. A small wooden box that the artist used as a communication tool sits on the chair’s table, and an unidentified black object hangs from the chair’s back.