The Milwaukee Art Museum's Friends of Art supported the purchase of the important design from the Industry Gallery, the first work by Bengtsson to enter the Museum's collection. The Milwaukee chair, number 14 from an edition of 20, is comprised of 125 stacked horizontal hand-polished aluminum slices.
Danish-born Mathias Bengtsson (b. 1971), who resides in London and Stockholm, created the Slice chair concept, which weds organic shapes with cutting-edge technology, in 1999. Slice began as a hand-modeled clay form that blurs a chair's distinction between armrests, backrest, legs and frame. The organic shape was sliced into horizontal layers, digitally manipulated, formed again by a laser cutter, and then hand assembled and polished.
"Bengtsson's chair is dazzlingly beautiful, but it also leads us to an important design question-was this chair made by man or machine?" notes Mel Buchanan, Mae E. Demmer Assistant Curator of 20th Century Design at the Milwaukee Art Museum.