The Painted Apartment: A Unique 80's Time Capsule

The Painted Apartment: A Unique 80's Time Capsule

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Janel Laban
Dec 11, 2008

An unusual auction is on this week at Wright...individual pieces from a total apartment makeover project that was completed in 1983 are being sold. The photos of the pieces in the "Painted Apartment" are definitely worth a look; a perfect snapshot of artistic high design of the early eighties. Jump below to time travel back:

All photos and text are from the Wright auction site about the Painted Apartment:


Krueck + Sexton's Painted Apartment represents the most unrestrained and unfettered side of architectural design. The original owner desired to live within a work of art; she commissioned Krueck + Sexton to completely alter the interior of an apartment in a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed building located in Chicago.

The walls, floors and ceiling became the framework of an expressive environment created by the screens, tables, beds and built-ins offered here. In contrast to the rectilinear, Modernist exterior, Krueck + Sexton eliminated nearly every wall and created an interior composed primarily of furniture and objects in an asymmetrical, though highly considered, arrangement.

Although collectively designed for this site-specific project, these individual components embody and carry its spirit beyond the apartment's walls. The undulating heights and contours of the screens generate a reverberating energy. Perforated surfaces react to light in constantly changing ways — sometimes reflective, sometimes transparent — recalling Moholy-Nagy's 1930 Light-Space Modulator.

The tables and desk combine geometric and biomorphic components creating commanding compositions among the vertical screens. Custom seating and beds provide textural planes that complement the industrial aesthetic of the collection.

The Painted Apartment's symphony of color, material and texture creates compelling individual designs among the harmonious ensemble. The elements offer both a functional living environment and art installation, a combination that achieves an architectural effect as an entirety.

This lot contains commissioned furniture and objects that were designed by Krueck + Sexton for the interior of their project titled Painted Apartment. The entire apartment was furnished and decorated with custom elements; highlights include a dining table, three screens, a coffee table, desk, sofa, two beds and additional decorative elements.

For more info:

  • The Painted Apartment
  • Important Design Auction
  • Wright

    Photos: Wright - The Painted Apartment

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