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  • Emma Fernández

Verner Panton - King of Colour

I went to the exhibition Verner Panton, Colouring a New World at Trapholt Museum. For me, it has been a bucket list experience. Let me tell you why.

The 60s and 70s captured my imagination way before I entered design school. Since I was a kid the music and visual style, the use of colour, the sinuosity of the forms, and the fashion of the time marked me. At design school, it was fascinating to deepen my knowledge. To learn about the social contexts and artistic influences behind every art movement.

One of the artists I was introduced to, and admire is Verner Panton. His famous chair, in the classic red and shiny plastic, is not only a chair; it is art. An object denoting its time and social context, while also being timeless.

The first time I came to Denmark, I did not know much about the country. But I knew three famous Danes: Hans Christian Andersen, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton. Fifteen years later, still fascinates me how design is part of people's everyday lives. However, it seems that Danes have an obsession with form; but a lack of interest in colour. Fact that makes Panton even more fascinating, because he had both. His use of colour was the first thing that attracted me about his work.

Although one can see Panton's work in other exhibitions. This in particular at Trapholt Museum reunites his work of 5 decades in one place. Panton himself curated part of this exhibition in 1996. The exhibition takes you on a sensorial journey. It makes you aware of how colour, light, and form affect your mood.

In a room, there are curtains, which can go around 360º. Each curtain had a different colour and pattern designed to influence mood and the room's perception. I was surprised with my own feelings with this, you know the theory but to have the opportunity to compare the different sensation just closing a curtain, it was amusing.

You can go into his famous room for the "Visiona Exhibition". The first time I saw this room was on the cover of the book Sixties Design by Phillip Garner. That cover photograph is hypnotising. Being able to get into it and experience it, did not disappoint. More than 50 years after its creation, it still keeps the oneiric adventure of the senses. Both children and adults alike were in a playground.

The Living Tower amazed my children so much that they wish one for Christmas. Art books are a great starting point. But seeing it with your own eyes, touching it with your hands –when allowed – is invaluable. The exhibition ends on August 14th 2022.

Kids know what they want for Christmas
Living Tower by Verner Panton

Rooms curated by Verner Panton in 1996
Lightning and Colour by Verner Panton

Original Polyurethane Panton Chairs
The Panton Chair

Sixties Design by Phillipe Garner


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