Mid-Century Remastered

Mid-Century Remastered

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By Kelsey Keith
Bernhardt Design revives Charles Pollock’s long-dormant career with the release of a timeless new lounge chair.

When Jerry Helling, president of Bernhardt Design, received a phone call from Charles Pollock in November 2010, he had been on Pollock’s trail for an entire year. Why spend so much effort to track down a designer whose last piece of furniture in the United States—the Pollock Executive office chair for Knoll—was produced almost a half century ago? For one, Helling’s obsession with that very chair ("It’s so sleek and yet kind of overstuffed, a combination that doesn’t seem to go together but jells into this iconic image") and for another, his unwavering opinion that Charles Pollock’s name and oeuvre should be hallowed in the halls of mid-century design.

Bernhardt encouraged the designer, now 82, to give shape to "what comes naturally," which in the CP Lounge Chair takes the form of a low-slung seat, upholstered with hand-sewn panels for a quilted effect, lightly propped on a polished stainless steel frame. Helling explains that rather than revisiting aluminum tubing to highlight the outline of the chair, as Pollock had done in previous designs, they decided to do something "more tactile and craft-oriented"—hence, a large loop stitch around the entire perimeter. The piece, which was released in May, exudes the polish of a luxury car, with an aerodynamic profile and richly textured material detail.

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