An upholstered riot of colors


Would you like to own a 100% unique piece of furniture? At the auction house Bruun Rasmussen’s great auction of Hans J. Wegner furniture in December, a very special colored sofa was put on sale. It is colorized – or perhaps even daubed – by renowned Danish happening artist Jens Jørgen Thorsen in a true riot of color.

The sofa is the model Century 2000, which  Wegner designed for Danish furniture manufacturer Getama. At the occasion of the factory’s 100th anniversary in 1999, Getama – during the furniture fair in Copenhagen – asked Jens Jørgen Thorsen to decorate one of the sofas. Today, it is exactly this copy which is now on auction to a valuation price of 30,000-40,000 DKK.

Some would call it vandalism, others would call it a welcome banter of the pronounced perfectionism in Wegner’s design. One thing is for certain: Jens Jørgen Thorsen (1932-2000) and Hans J. Wegner (1914-2007) occurred in personality to be polar opposites: the first as being driven by manic ferocity, wild ideas and unruly impulses. The other as an enduring, controlled and disciplined laborer, who never was addicted to tomfoolery. Perhaps this is precisely why Jens Jørgen Thorsen’s expressive recoating of Wegner’s clean, perfect sofa was a breath of fresh air. One might think that Wegner took this happening amiss, but the aging architect was in no way offended. Somewhere underneath it all, it was perhaps a recognition of the importance of creativity and impulsivity, which was probably hidden in Wegner’s work, but no doubt remained as an underlying spark for a life-long work and an unchanged curiosity.