Artibus et Historiae no. 69 (XXXV)2014, ISSN 0391-9064
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ELIZABETH RICHARDS RIVENBARK - Corporeal Furnishings in the Sixties: Furniture as Art and Its Intimacy with the Body (pp. 275–288)
Twentieth century artists have frequently turned to interior furnishings as familiar objects that possess multiple meanings and thus can be manipulated in such a way as to recall personal experience yet indicate broader cultural significance. The anthropomorphic nature of many furnishings makes the chair or the bed an appropriate location for discussions of the corporeal. Using Saussure’s theory of semiotic iconography, this article identifies the broader use of the chair in history as a signifier of the human body then analyzes the multiple meanings of the chair to mid-twentieth century artists. From autobiographical readings to socio-political ones, the artists of the 1960s adopted the form of the chair to replace the corporeal human body in a time when the human body was rife with political meaning.