Frank O Gehry (born Toronto 1929) is one of the world's most significant architects, best known for his now iconic Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 1993-1997. Gehry studied architecture at the University of California and at Harvard in the 1950s. In 1961 he established his own practice in LA and designed his series of corrugated cardboard furniture, the 'Easy Edges' series, between 1969 and 1972. This series, of which the 'Wiggle' chair is a part, derived its name from 'Edge Board', a material that Gehry developed based on glued layers of corrugated cardboard running in alternate directions. Strong, noise-reducing, environmentally sustainable and highly sculptural, the 'Easy Edges' seriesbrought Gehry overnight success as a furniture designer. The series has been manufactured by Vitra since 1986. Gehry also designed the Vitra Design Museum building and adjacent factory at Weil am Rhein in 1989.
In the late 70s Gehry began to receive world-wide recognition for his architecture and has remained one of the most acclaimed architects of his generation. Later furniture designs included a series for Knoll in 1991 made of woven wooden strips. A major exhibition of the architect's work, including his furniture, was mounted by the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2000(?).
Gehry's furniture, like his architecture, is characterised by its abstract, sculptural qualities and thus provides an important means of representing the architect's aesthetic in the collection. In addition to its associations with a highly important 20th century architect, the 'Wiggle' chair also references the innovative design aesthetic of the 1960s, particularly that decade's experimentation with plastic seating. In its shape and structural principles. the 'Wiggle' chair invites connections with Verner Panton's 1960 fibreglass 'Panton' chair, an early example of which is also in the collection.