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2003/70/1 Table 'Matador', lacquered moulded MDF, chrome-steel, Huon pine, Corian, stainless steel, designed and made by John Smith, Hobart, Tasmania, 1994 - 1995. Click to enlarge.

'Matador' table by John Smith

Made
Together with the cabinet 'Marrawah Ripple - Malibu Swell' made in 2001, this table reflects John Smith's long interest in exploring furniture conventions to include influences of architecture and art. Designed and made in 1994-95 and 2001 respectively, these items complement his 'Colourblock' table of 1985 in the Museum's collection.

Currently Head of the Centre for Furniture Design at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, John Smith (b. 1948) has worked as an artist and …

Summary

Object No.

2003/70/1

Object Statement

Table 'Matador', lacquered moulded MDF, chrome-steel, Huon pine, Corian, stainless steel, designed and made by John Smith, Hobart, Tasmania, 1994 - 1995

Physical Description

Table 'Matador', lacquered moulded MDF, chrome-steel, Huon pine, Corian, stainless steel, designed and made by John Smith, Hobart, Tasmania, 1994 - 1995

Table 'Matador', red lacquered moulded MDF top in the form of a bullfighter's cape, in undulating triangular shape to fit horizontally into the corner of a room, pierced near the front by a long chrome-steel leg that reaches from the corner of the room above, through the table-top to a Huon pine and Corian foot, and supported at the back by a stainless steel cable from the top of the leg to the top of the foot. Designed and made by John Smith, Hobart, Tasmania, 1994-1995.

Dimensions

Height

2300 mm

Width

700 mm

Depth

700 mm

Production

Notes

The 'Matador' table was made following an Australia Council residency in Barcelona in 1992. John Smith was interested in the visual culture of Spain, including the imagery of the bullfight, as well as the work of artists like Salvador Dali and Jean Miro; the Catalan designers who had worked underground during the Franco regime; and the early 20th century work of architect Antoni Gaudi. He was conscious of the crossover between national identity and international recognition emerging strongly in 1992, the year the Olympic Games was held there. Although he didn't go to a bullfight, its imagery was central to Spanish culture. However the table was also designed as a response to the conditions in which he was living. The knock-down, corner table that becomes stable through being wedged against the wall, was designed as a response to the restrictions of the studio space, for 'people on the move'. It was the first piece of furniture that reflected the imagery of Spain, and the first of a series that included the 'Bridge of Calatrava' shelves, and the 'Picador' coat-rack, both of which leaned against walls.

A resident of Tasmania since 1970, John Smith was born in England in 1948 and studied furniture design at the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology before emigrating to Hobart to take up a teaching position at the Tasmanian School of Art. Since 1972 his career has combined practice as a design educator as well as a professional artist, specialising in furniture design but also working on architectural and sculptural projects. Currently he is head of the Centre for Furniture Design at the University of Tasmania.

Smith has participated in numerous solo and group shows locally and internationally, is represented in many public and private collections and has been the recipient of a number of important grants and awards. His 1984 'Colourblock' table, its glass top supported by a sculptural configuration of brightly painted wooden geometric shapes, was one of several pieces he produced in the mid 1980s to explore the interplay of pure colour and form. (See Anne Watson, 'Mod to Memphis', Powerhouse Museum 2002).

History

Notes

Remained in the personal collection of the designer.

Source

Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by John Smith, 2003

Acquisition Date

28 April 2003

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Matador' table by John Smith 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 October 2022, <https://ma.as/12168>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/12168 |title='Matador' table by John Smith |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 October 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}