I was busy in Paris checking out a wonderful desk from my favorite 20th century French Art Deco designer, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann when the Mexican Contemporary Art Fair Zona MACO 2011 was taking place in Mexico City from April 6-10, 2011. Of course, I counted on my readers to keep me informed on the highlights of this event and I was amazed by the great amount of comments on the exhibition and pictures that I received on furniture pieces displayed by Mexican and international design galleries in the “ZonaMACO Diseño” pavilion. Interestingly, Don S. Shoemaker´s work was represented at 3 out of the 10 participating galleries in this pavilion…

My attention was captivated by these rare Don S. Shoemaker Lounge chairs that were exhibited by one of the participating galleries:

The “Pernos” Lounge chair was one of Don´s experimental chair designs from the 1960’s when most designers of the time were using welded steel–rod body and frame like Harry Bertoia, Herman Miller and some others became fond of plywood beginning with the Eames passing by Sori Yanagi, Carlo Mollino and last but not least the extensive use by some other designers of fiberglass. As a matter of fact he used to try to find answers in wood to BAUHAUS designs in tubular steel or aluminum. (He also developed an interpretation from the De Stijl, the famous zigzag chair of Garrit Rietveld). Don´s innovative “Pernos” lounge chair had a complicated and very precise assembly process, each chair´s manufacture was personally supervised by him; they were produced during a limited period of time in small quantities. He was not necessarily extremely fond to linear designs, these chairs became exclusive collection pieces to his passionate followers.

Some of Don´s classic Sling furniture pieces were nicely presented by other galleries as well, unfortunately I also recognized a new copy that I had already brought to light last year in my post “AAD – Appearances are deceptive“, related to new Don S. Shoemaker copies. For those of you who visited Zona MACO 2011 you will discover the unlucky copy right away!

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