Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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Speaking of trees -- dead ones, that is -- I went to the Sam Maloof/Claremont artists show at the Huntington this past weekend. The designer was central in a community of wood workers, painters, sculptors, and ceramicists in Claremont, and he sure had a way with walnut.

There is astonishing beauty and joinery in some of Maloof's pieces on exhibit. Nothing "wooden" about Maloof. One chair (this one made of a variety of bird's-eye maple) was set in the middle of one of the galleries, and visitors were allowed to sit in it. The problem was the chair was so comfortable people sat and then just stayed there, smiling ridiculously. Seriously. So I would wait, but then wander a couple of feet away, and someone else would jump in and then sit there for another while, smiling. Finally, I got a turn (after my friend Nicole Panter saved the chair for me), and, yes, it was insanely comfy. I am still smiling.

maloof_hornbackchair.JPGAnother particularly beautiful work, Maloof's Hornback Chair (1960), made of walnut, left, reminded me of Max Ernst's Capricorn sculpture (1948), below.


Chair photo courtesy of the Huntington; sculpture photo via

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