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Grete Jalk

1920 - 2006, 丹麦

Grete Jalk 是丹麦知名家具设计师,她在当时女性设计师稀少的时代,以清晰简洁的线条,和对材料及工艺的成熟把控,为丹麦现代主义做出了巨大贡献。

Jalk 在1920年出生于哥本哈根,1940至1942年间,她在哥本哈根女子设计学院学习,随后进入丹麦皇家美术学院,师从极具影响力的设计师 Kaare Klint。1946年毕业后,Jalk 就在当年的哥本哈根细木工行业协会竞赛中获得一等奖,并在1951年携作品参加米兰三年展,获得了广泛赞誉。

1954年,Jalk 成立了自己的设计工作室,她常常使用柚木和黑檀木等材料,赋予家具独特的流动感和雕塑感,并开始与 Poul Jeppesen、Fritz Hansen 和 France & Søn 等知名丹麦制造商合作。受到 Alvar Aalto 和 Eames 夫妇的胶合板家具的启发,Jalk 也开始尝试新的材料和生产技术,1963年,她最具标志性的作品 GJ Chair 正式推出,这把由柚木贴面胶合板制作的椅子,有着轻盈的折纸形态,且由于早期工艺的复杂性,制造商 Poul Jeppesen 仅生产了几百件,但也在发行当年就被抢购一空,还成为了纽约现代艺术博物馆和大都会艺术博物馆收藏的一部分。

在设计家具的同时,Jalk 还担任了许多其他职务。1950年至1960年间,她在母校丹麦皇家美术学院任教,并且成为丹麦知名设计杂志《Mobilia》的编辑,同时完成了著作《丹麦家具设计40年》,至今仍然是讲述丹麦现代设计的重要作品。1974年,丹麦外交部委托 Jalk 策划一场丹麦设计巡回展览,在25个地区取得了巨大成功,为丹麦设计在国际上的声誉做出了不可估量的贡献。

2006年,Jalk 去世。两年后,丹麦家具制造商 Lange Production 获得了 GJ Chair 的版权,重新投入生产,结果依然得到了市场的极大反响。

What would the reputation of mid-century Danish furniture be without legendary female designer Grete Jalk? A pioneer of Scandinavian modernism, Jalk sought to craft furniture that was both cost-efficient and high in quality, each piece made for the evolving interiors and design sensibilities of the day. She continues to be celebrated for her sleek and minimal armchairs, lounge chairs, coffee tables and more.

Jalk was born in 1920 in Copenhagen. She studied at the Drawing and Applied Art School for Women before enrolling at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where famed designer Kaare Klint was among her instructors. Jalk completed her studies in 1946 and began a cabinetmaker apprenticeship. That same year, she won an award at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild competition. Jalk also participated in the 1951 Milan Triennial exhibition, where her designs earned more acclaim and attention.

In 1954, Jalk opened her own design studio and began working with major Danish furniture manufacturers like Fritz Hansen and Glostrup Møbelfabrik. She found inspiration in plywood experiments carried out by Alvar Aalto and Ray and Charles Eames, and she quickly became known for her pared-back, expressive designs, which touted fluid forms and were made of alluring woods such as teak and rosewood.

Jalk’s best-known work is the 1963 GJ chair, a collaboration with cabinetmaker Poul Jeppesen that won first place in the Daily Mail International Furniture Competition. Made of two pieces of molded teak plywood, the sculptural GJ lounge chair is part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

While creating her iconic furniture designs, Jalk wore many other hats. She taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and served as an editor of the Danish design magazine Mobilia from 1956–62 and 1968–74. In 1974, Jalk curated a traveling design exhibition for the Danish Foreign Ministry and was named a member of the Danish Design Council in 1981. She was also the editor of 40 Years of Danish Furniture Design: The Copenhagen Cabinet-makers' Guild Exhibitions 1927–1966, published in 1987.

Jalk passed away in 2006 at the age of 86. In 2008, Danish furniture manufacturer Lange Production was granted exclusive rights to reproduce the GJ chair, a design as fresh and original today as ever.

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