Lionel Jadot, Jam Seat Brass, BE, 2019
Lionel Jadot’s Jam Seat, is adapted from a design prototype created sometime between 1905 – 1910 by Jadot’s great-grandfather, the head of the legendary Vanhamme family of furniture makers. Inspired by the more geometric forms of the late Vienna Secession movement, the forward thinking chair design dismisses traditionalist style in favor of a modern, streamline look, rendered in a single material. The design is distilled into four flat planes of cut brass sheet that are pieced together like an angular puzzle. The reductive and planar form of Jam Seat predates similar conceptual designs such as Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld’s Red and Blue Chair, created in 1917 and Shiro Kuramata’s Glass chair from 1976.
While not easily categorized by a singular style, Jadot’s work could most easily be recognized by his affinity for repurposed materials and his deft eye at creating harmony and balance out of the collision of disparate elements. With the vision and confidence to experiment and evolve, Jadot has made a practice of skirting tradition by mixing genres, inspirations, and materials to achieve his iconoclastic vision. Key to his work process is a strong belief in craftsmanship and integrity in terms of behavior and approach.
The principle of reclamation has been relevant to Jadot from a young age. As a child in his father’s workshop, Jadot developed a keen attraction and respect for materials, coveting the bits of scrap wood and leather that would accumulate around the floor and had been deemed “fair game.” Today this manifests as both a philosophical and aesthetic tenet to his work. Manipulating materials that have been salvaged permeates the works with a sense of character, history, and humanity.
Working from a near photographic mental library of materials and influences, he is at once artist, tinkerer, and inventor. He explains, “What interests me is ideas passing though memory, and the influences mixing. Culture meeting subculture, mixing genre – from memory. I filled notebooks of ideas and with this approach I decided to achieve all that was in my notebooks. It is an exciting job; it’s more an expression, free of any constraints. But it is also a free reflection on design and art, and this fragile border that I love to cross in both directions.”
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