The Panton Chair (1957-1967; S Chair) by experimental Danish designer Verner Panton is part of the Danish Culture Canon and has withstood the vicissitudes of popularity over time, in part thanks to supermodel Kate Moss who posed nude on it on the cover of British Vogue. It was also the first of its kind and took years to be able to be manufactured, made as it is from a single, seamless piece of plastic. Panton was said to have derived inspiration for the sinuous, stackable chair from plastic buckets. Its pop art fluid look is visually arresting, with or without the presence of Kate Moss. The chair is a pop culture icon. In 1970, even before Kate Moss cemented the chair’s sex appeal, British magazine Nova featured the chair prominently under the headline ‘How to Undress in Front of Your Husband’.
Panton’s enthusiastic, daring style combining colors and high-tech materials invokes the ‘60s look. His furniture was also Stanley Kubrick’s choice in his film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Panton had originally wanted to be an artist but his father’s objection to this led him to pursue architecture instead. Before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen, he worked as a bricklayer. After, he became an apprentice to architect-designer Arne Jacobsen of whom he said “I have never learned as much from anyone as I did from Arne Jacobsen.” Panton travelled Europe with architect Hans Ove Barfod in a VW camper van that was outfitted with a drawing office to look for commissions.
Panton is also known for his Fun Shell Lamps (1964; Pearlyn Table Lamp) which utilize natural mother of pearl sea shells that come together in an appealing interplay of light and sound.