Rolling Volume Chair

Rolling Volume Chair

Ron Arad, British, Israeli, 1951-
Born: Tel Aviv, Israel
Work Locations: London, England
One Off
Work Locations: London, England
Active Dates: 1981-
London, England
Stainless steel and lead
Gift of Robert and Lisa Kessler

Ron Arad (British, born Israel, 1951), Rolling Volume, 1989. Stainless steel and lead. Manufactured by One Off, London. Gift of Robert and Lisa Kessler, 2012.324.

height: 33 in, 83.8200 cm; width: 28 in, 71.1200 cm; depth: 42 in, 106.6800 cm
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Architecture and Design
Architecture and Design

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ron Arad approached design largely from a sculptural perspective, driven by the materials and tools he had on hand. The Rolling Volumes are large rocking armchairs that demonstrate Arad’s fascination and experimentation with the techniques and visual effects of welding and polishing steel. The series, which he produced in limited numbers, was always functional, but not always practical. 

The earliest Rolling Volume, produced in 1988, is a crude hollow structure with visible welds that hold together its curved steel parts. As Arad’s skills improved, he achieved the smooth surface seen in this example made the following year. The welds have been polished away to achieve a highly reflective form that mirrors its surroundings.

The Rolling Volumes are heavily weighted at the back with lead (Arad originally used sand), which is the reverse of a conventional rocking chair but gives them surprising balance when in use; while in motion, the lead provides an invisible force that plays against the sitter’s weight. When not in use, the chair tilts dramatically upward to become an abstract sculpture.

Known Provenance
Purchased 29 June 1999 by Robert Kessler from (Bonham's Knightbridge), Sale No. 27879, 20th Century Design, lot #136; donated 2012 by Robert and Lisa Kessler to the Denver Art Museum.
Exhibition History
  • "Unseated: Contemporary Chairs Reimagined"—Denver Art Museum, 5/1/2016 - 11/12/2017