What happens when a “hyper-modern” artist and a heritage Italian furniture brand join forces? It may look something like Poltrona Frau’s limited-edition Archibald armchair, which was recently reinvented by Felipe Pantone to celebrate the brand’s 110th anniversary. The anonymous Argentine-Spanish artist has become known for dynamic Op Art patterns—think rapturous blends of vivid color gradients and entrancing Vasarely-like grids—that have landed everywhere from Miami’s Wynwood walls to digitized displays in Moscow shopping centers.
To reimagine the Archibald chair, designed by Jean-Marie Massaud in 2009, Pantone created a mesmerizing gradient grid of reds, oranges, yellows, whites, and blues that resemble the cool and warm temperatures of a heat map using Poltrona Frau’s ColorSphere system. The pattern is printed directly onto the brand’s Impact Less leather—a chrome-free material that uses less and cleaner water and reduces the consumption of chemical components—using artisanal techniques often reserved for small luxury leather goods. Archibald’s slender metal legs sport a purplish-blue iridescent finish that shimmers under light for extra visual intrigue.
“We chose Archibald as the base because of its minimal frame, but also the unique characteristics like the arms of the chair and the details on the backrest,” Pantone says. “The idea was to use a very minimal and iconic design and to juxtapose it against my graphics, which are very loud and dynamic.” Only 110 pieces of the limited-edition Archibald will be made; purchase them through Poltrona Frau’s e-commerce channels and flagship stores.