Clement Meadmore Steel Rod and Glass Coffee Table Melbourne Circa 1952
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This exceptionally rare early Meadmore table has a light and playful presence. It reflects Meadmore's uncanny understanding of space and geometry which was to emerge more robustly in his stellar career as a sculptor.
His official website tells us Meadmore's '...sculptures deny their physical reality, suggesting weightlessness'. In his own words, Meadmore said he had '...a design interest in the linear possiblities of steel rod and suspended planes in space' (Atkins, P. 'Influences and Parallels: the early Industrial Design and Sculpture of Clement Meadmore', Blurb, printed 2012)
Both statements apply to this table, with it's seemingly impossible arrangement of freestanding legs balancing a glass top without apparent lateral support, and it's simple linear arrangement of steel rods. Yet the table is solid, stable and strong. The weight of the glass holds the legs in position and the crossbars are set wide enough to make lateral movement impossible.
This table is a wonderful example of Meadmore's early work, developing ideas with simple materials on a small scale - ideas that would later bring Meadmore fame as a sculptor of global renown.
Clement Meadmore was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1929. He studied Industrial Design at Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT). His first furniture pieces were handmade in 1951, welded by a local blacksmith and finished by Meadmore. He opened a store in Collins Street, Melbourne, selling his 'Meadmore Originals' range of steel rod furniture in 1952.
His 'Corded Chair' designed in 1952 went on to win the Good Design Award in Sydney in 1953. He abandoned his burgeoning industrial design practice in 1953 to seek further exposure to ideas in sculpture and design in London and Europe.
On his return to Australia in 1954 he took up sculpture as his main practice but continued to take design commissions, including interior fit outs for several cafes and Thomas' Records store - some of Melbourne's earliest 'International Style' modernist interiors.
He moved to the US in 1963 and took up dual citizenship. He is widely recognised as an eminent member of the 60s and 70s Minimalist movement, though his work extended beyond the bounds of minimalism.
His work is most strongly appreciated in the USA and Japan.
Clement Meadmore died in New York in 2005.
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