Architect Ron Arad specializes in designing chairs that are both furniture and sculpture, often using material outside the domain of typical furniture production. Before Summer is from a series of chairs made in the 1990s based on a simple U-curve. Here he uses sheet steel, exploiting the possibilities of the material to the fullest extent. The edge forms a single line that thickens in the center and tapers at the ends. The chair is meant to be used. Though the rocking base might appear too small to support movement, it is made stable by heavy internal weighting. The mirror finish activates the chair’s surface with reflections of its surroundings, effectively dematerializing it. Arad says that in works like this he is exploring the language of painting, which he defines as flowing line, weightlessness of material, and abstract gesture.

From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Ron Arad, English, born 1951
  • Before Summer
Date 1992
Medium Stainless Steel
Dimensions Overall: 52 × 71 × 14 inches (132.1 × 180.3 × 35.6 cm)
Credit Line Gift of A. Alfred Taubman
Accession Number 2008.587
Department Contemporary Art after 1950
Not On View
A. Alfred Taubman (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA);
2009-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
"Notable Acquisitions, 2000-2015." Bulletin of the DIA 89, no. 1/4 (2015): p. 57 (ill.).