Prickly Pair Chair, Gentleman Style

Prickly Pair Chair, Gentleman Style

Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, Mexican, 1977-
Born: Mexico City, Mexico
Work Locations: London, England, Mexico City, Mexico
United Kingdom, Mexico
Banak wood, medium-density fiberboard, paint, and upholstery
Acquired by exchange

Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, Prickly Pair Chair, Gentleman Style, 2009. Banak wood, medium-density fiberboard, paint, and upholstery; 71 x 47 x 20 x 20 in. Denver Art Museum: acquired by exchange, 2016.2. © Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers

This object is currently on view
height: 71 in, 180.3400 cm; overall width: 47 in, 119.3800 cm; seat height: 20 in, 50.8000 cm; overall depth: 20 in, 50.8000 cm
Architecture and Design
Architecture and Design

Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers’s Prickly Pair Chair is a playful remix of Mexican and European cultures. This combination of cultural inspirations is drawn from Gonzalez Wohler’s own background; born in Mexico City, she has studied and worked in London since 2005. Here Gonzalez Wohlers has altered an armchair designed in the Louis XV style to resemble the nopal cactus, or prickly pear, a symbol of Mexican heritage and national pride. The chair’s vivid green tufted upholstery and pink paint replicate the bright colors of the cactus in bloom. 

The pun in the title of the chair may refer to discord between Mexican and European cultures reaching as far back as the colonial period. However, Gonzalez Wohlers’s whimsical merging of shapes, textures, and materials suggests a process of self-reflection and an affirmation of diversity. 

Known Provenance
Purchased 2016 from the designer by the Denver Art Museum.
Exhibition History
  • “By Design: Stories and Ideas Behind Objects” — Denver Art Museum, 10/24/2021 – 12/31/2022