Gene Summers, the modernist architect who worked with Mies van der Rohe and was directly involved with the Seagram building and Farnsworth House, began designing furniture and sculpture in the mid-1980s. Working out of his home and studio located in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in France, Summers developed more than 100 designs in bronze, the material (used for the Seagram building) revealing his architectural background. His works are made using lost wax casting a precise process that pays homage to ancient and traditional modes of production. Summers worked with three foundries to produce his high quality designs: an Italian foundry in Pietrasanta located just three hours by car from his home in France, Walla Walla Foundry in Washington and most recently Blue Mountain Fine Art in Oregon.
Summers drew inspiration from myriad sources including architects such as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe and artists like Giacometti, Miro, Picasso and Matisse and the resulting works offer a new and fresh perspective on functional design. Elegant yet comfortable, the works of this collection seamlessly bridge the worlds of art and design. Made only in limited edition, the Gene Summers Collection is available exclusively on Wright Now.
Modernist architect Gene Summers started his illustrious career in 1950 working with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Directly involved with landmark structures such as the Farnsworth House, Seagram Building and the National Gallery of Berlin, Summers earned a reputation as Mies’ right hand man. Hired upon completion of the graduate program at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Summers worked with Mies for sixteen years.
In 1967 Summers became a partner at C.F. Murphy Associates where he completed the McCormick Center of Chicago and Kemper Arena in Kansas City among many other remarkable buildings. In 1973, Summers relocated to California where he partnered with Phyllis Lambert whom he had met during construction of the Seagram building. Together, he and Lambert designed, developed, restored and renovated properties and buildings, most notably the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles for which they collaborated with the artist Jim Dine.
Summers began creating furniture and sculpture out of his home and studio located in Saint-Paul-de-Vence and his apartment in Monaco during the mid-1980s. In just a few years, Summers designed more than 100 works in bronze, his influences ranging from Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe to Giacometti, Miro, Picasso and Matisse. In 1988, a solo exhibition, Works in Bronze: Gene Summers was on view at Powell Kleinschmidt, Chicago in 1988.
Summers died in 2011 at the age of eighty-three.
Works are available two ways: they can be purchased as shown or we can place an order with the foundry. There are several patinas that can be chosen for newly cast work averaging a 10-12 week lead time. Please contact us if you have interest in placing a custom order.
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