Nigel Coates, Rare, Early and Iconic “Genie” stool 1988
NIGEL COATES (b. 1949) England
BRANSON COATES ARCHITECTURE London
“Genie” stool 1988
Carved and sandblasted solid ash seat on twisted mild steel legs
Marks: NIGEL COATES GENIE STOOL
Illustrated: 1000 chairs, Charlotte & Peter Fiell (Cologne: Taschen Verlag, 1997), p. 615.
H: 26: x D: 13 1/2″
British architect and designer. He studied at Nottingham University and the Architectural Association, London, where he graduated in 1974 and subsequently taught until 1989. In 1983 he formed the group NATO (Narrative Architecture Today) with a group of former students and began to practice independently; two years later he went into partnership with Doug Branson (b 1951). Coates became known for his fluid and lively graphic style and the overt theatricality of his designs. His proposals for the redevelopment of London, involving sophisticated allegories of popular culture, were shown in two exhibitions: ArkAlbion (1984), with drawings of new development areas such as County Hall and the Isle of Dogs, and Ecstacity (1992), with computer simulations and video clips. In the renovation (1980) of his own flat in London he juxtaposed the original, ornate late 19th-century interior with ‘found’ furniture and decorative objects. The publication of this project brought Coates to the attention of Japanese clients who were seeking fashionable Western designers, and he carried out several projects in Japan that became increasingly theatrical: in Tokyo the Metropole Restaurant (1985) evokes a European café, while the Parco Café Bongo (1986) juxtaposes classical English furniture with an imitation aeroplane wing mounted on the ceiling; and the Arca di Noè (1988), Sapporo, is an eclectic mixture of classical motifs and a concrete boat. Coates’s radical approach was dissipated in later British works, such as a series of London shops: one for Katharine Hamnett in Sloane Street (1988) has a shop front formed of aquaria, and one for Jigsaw in Knightsbridge (1992) has its shop front formed of a two-storey copper column in the shape of a phallus. In 1992 he began designing an extension to the Geffrye Museum, London.
Coates was an influential teacher at the Architectural Association from 78- 86, and has lectured extensively abroad. In 1995 he was appointed Professor of Architectural Design at the Royal College of Art and now divides his time equally between the college and his office. Nigel Coates furniture is represented in the Modern Furniture Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
“I go for architecture that overlays and enhances. By blending observation and wit with reason, I want my work to generate a sense of the unexpected, and the seemingly spontaneous.”
Ceremonial Parrot Effigy Metate 4th–8th century
Guanacaste-Nicoya Costa Rica
Volcanic stone carved with Greek key type designs, openwork feather details and finely detailed bird’s head and beak.
A related Ceremonial Metate can be found in the Rockefeller collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
H: 14″ x D: 12 1/2″ x L: 30 1/2″
AZTEC AD 1325-1475 Mexico.
Important stone carved sculpture of a coiled serpent, AD 1325-1475 Mexico.
***Two scientific authentication reports are available with this sculpture.
H: 10″ x D: 8″
The serpent played a very important role in Aztec religion and was represented in a variety of forms. The majority of the serpents represented in Aztec sculpture are rattlesnakes.
Mexican mythology indicates the snake is a symbol of veneration, worship and honor. Often a symbol of great power, resurrection and rebirth, the snake continues to be a powerful emblem of renewal and transition.
Further, the snake is recognized as a symbol of humanity as a whole. Interestingly, the Mexican perspective provides hope for mankind to aspire to great heights as it correlates the shedding of the serpent’s skin to man’s ability to change his own circumstances and overcome adversity.
The Aztecs build an impressive empire in the valley of Mexico. This thriving area, known as Tenochitlan, was the cultural, religious and trading center of Mesoamerica. Aztecs were the Native American people who dominated northern Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest led by Hernan Cortez in the early 16th century. According to their own legends, they originated from a place called Aztlan, somewhere in north or northwest Mexico. At that time the Aztecs (who referred to themselves as the Mexica, or Tenochca) were a small, nomadic, Nahuatl-speaking aggregation of tribal peoples living on the margins of civilized Mesoamerica. Sometime in the 12th century they embarked on a period of wandering and in the 13th century settled in the central basin of México. Continually dislodged by the small city-states that fought one another in shifting alliances, the Aztecs finally found refuge on small islands in Lake Texcoco where, in 1325, they founded the town of Tenochtitlan (modern-day Mexico City). The term Aztec, originally associated with the migrant Mexica, is today a collective term, applied to all the peoples linked by trade, custom, religion, and language to these founders. Warriors and pragmatic builders, the Aztecs created an empire during the 15th century that was surpassed in size in the Americas only by that of the Incas in Peru. As early texts and modern archaeology continue to reveal, beyond their conquests and many of their religious practices, the Aztecs had many positive achievements: the formation of a highly specialized and stratified society and an imperial administration, the expansion of a trading network as well as a tribute system, the development and maintenance of a sophisticated agricultural economy (which was carefully adjusted to the land) and the cultivation of an intellectual and religious outlook that held society to be an integral part of the cosmos.