After a hiatus of nearly half a century, Kartell brings back one of the most unique modern space age design chairs ever created; Joe Colombo's iconic 4801 armchair designed in 1963/1964. A modern chair with striking visual appeal by the master if Italian Space Age design.
A limited number of wood 4801 chairs were produced in the 1960s, when the technologies did not exist to produce Joe Colombo’s design using Kartell’s material of choice. The original chair was crafted with a bent pressed plywood seat, back and frame fitted together without any metallic parts or glue, painted in of-the-era hues of white, green, orange and black.
As a tribute to Joe Colombo and Kartell's history with the legendary designer, Kartell has revisited the 4801 design with advanced industrial molding technologies. The second generation of the 4801 chair, which is now available again, captures the curving sinuous lines and exact proportions of Joe Colombo's design, now in sleek transparent, white and black plastic (PMMA).
An authentic symbol of design in the 1960s, the highly sought-after 4801 chair is revered by private collectors and institutions alike, and has been displayed internationally at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The original 4801 Chair has also been sold through auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christies.
Joe Colombo created a dozen pieces for Kartell from 1964 until his untimely death in 1971. The Milanese designer initially began collaborating with the company by designing lighting fixtures, and eventually chairs and accessories. In addition to the 4801, Joe Colombo is renowned for designing the Boby Storage Trolley and the 4867 chair, also known as the "Universale" (1968) – the first chair in the world made entirely of injection-molded ABS in a single mold, still sold by Kartell to this day.