John Kandell is represented in the National Museum, Stockholm; Röhsska
Art and Crafts Museum in Gothenburg; Malmö Museum; Norrköping museum
and the Swedish Arts Council among others.
"How many designers have tested their powers on the chair? But
only a few have succeeded in making a chair both unique and universally
applicable. John Kandell is one of this few. In the 50´s he designed
both furniture and interiors, and made excursions into architecture,
glass and textiles among other areas.
He worked with the greatest Swedish architects of the day - Peter
Celsing, Nils Tesch and, above all, Sven Ivar Lind. Classics were
created. With HI-gruppen, the short-lived association of architects
and cabinet-makers, he pushed against the limits. The distinctive
features were refined proportions, vigorous line and exquisite handling
of materials. Some were before their time but have now been revived.
John Kandell has always worked discriminatingly and sometimes minimally.
In the 80´s his exuberant come-back was a surprise. His work became
increasingly a synthesis of sculpture, painting, architecture and
furniture. Playful and humorous, but at the same time with a display
of feeling for space, volume, balance, colour and expression accumulated
over anb entire professional lifetime. Picasso´s graphic world and
imagination inspired John Kandell. He like to quote a statement by
Picasso that he had read - "a picture should be so simple that
i could be sent to New York by telephone". The Pilster shelf
unit (1989) can be seen as an application of this quote. The design
was phoned through to Källemo, and with its surprising, unerring simplicity
became one of the great successes.
Extract from the book "John Kandell" by Gunilla Lundahl,
National Museum, Stockholm