Mogens Lassen was just a year older than his brother Fleming and both were at school with Arne Jacobsen. All three became architects and designers and Fleming Lassen worked in partnership with Jacobsen on several major projects in the late 1920s and through the 1930s including working together on the House of the Future … an exhibition entry from 1929 … and the Library at Nyborg and the town hall at Søllerød.
Both Mogens and Fleming Lassen travelled widely but it was the buildings by Mogens, particularly the villas he designed, and his furniture that were closer to is generally recognised as the International style of the 1930s. Mogens Lassen studied in France and was offered but turned down a post in the studio of Le Corbusier and returned to Denmark where he established his own design studio in 1935.
The cantilevered chair, designed in 1933, takes as a starting point a chair with a tubular metal frame by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe … the MR20 designed in 1927 … but where the German designer has a simple seat and back rest with a continuous panel of cane across the frame, Mogens Lassen produced a striking and unique design with a basket woven around the frame that encloses the person in the chair.
As with the work by Poul Kjærholm, some 20 years later, the texture and natural colour of the cane is used as a contrast and as a foil to the metalwork.
Through the 20th century many Danish designers used woven cane for the seat and back rests for chairs … for instance the high-back chair, arm chair and sofa from the 1960s by Bernt Petersen … where the frame in wood is the key element of the design and the panels of cane infill … but few created designs that so closely retained the character of a basket where the cane work is the structure.
Arne Jacobsen designed the Pariserstolen in 1925 but that looks like a chair for a conservatory or garden terrace.
One of the few modern Danish chairs with a comparable focus on cane work as a basket is the Kurvestol by Nanna Ditzel from 1950 that was made by Ludvig Pontoppidan … a chair that has a large hemisphere of basket with a strong flat rim that was supported on a simple frame in teak with four turned and tapered legs with thin straight cross rails.
Mogens Lassen (1901-1987)
Made by Fritz Hansen Eftf
chrome steel tube, cane