I have been deeply in awe of the multi faceted works of Ilonka Karasz. She was a Hungarian-American designer born in Hungary in 1896 and later moved to Greenwich Village in NY. Her works ranged from these amazing wooden chairs to New Yorker covers to fabric and textiles to silver and ceramic drinking and eating wares to book covers and much much more. Each one more stunning and elegant than the last.
Her pieces ranged from the 1910’s-1970’s, as she began to submit her work for entires while in her teens. She was one of the only woman designers in the early 1900s, and truly pushed the needle forward for modernism. From what I’ve read, she was really one of the first designers to have an understanding of new/modern modes of production and how the world would soon be implementing technology into design- this was in the late ‘10s!
Something I love in particular with her work is the way she clearly threw herself into each of the mediums she was working with. Her works in wood vs works in silver have such a different feel, but really showcase the materials so beautifully. You almost wouldn’t think they were from the same artist, other than the fact that they compliment eachother so well. She wasn’t trying to force one “signature” look onto everything, but rather challenge her understanding of what it meant to really be an interdisciplinary artist and use the context of the piece as a whole to inform her work, not the other way around. I think of a room with a couch in the “Calico Cow” Fabric, the wooden chairs on either side, frames with her paintings/New Yorker covers/ the books she illustrated on the shelf, and a table with both her silver and ceramic wares….they ALL work without feeling like you’re stuck in one artists mind. It’s actually pretty incredible and I think a testament to what it looks like to be an artist in this deeper way…not restricted by one style that has “success” or that “worked”. But rather to keep pushing yourself to evolve and redefine and tell the story of what it is you’re creating WITH.
Definitely put her into Google if you’re curious to learn more!