This sculptural DU43 lounge chair was designed by architect and designer Gastone Rinaldi (1920-2006) for RIMA (Padova), in Italy in 1953. The piece shares a common sculptural language with other sculptural designers such as Conti, Forlani and Grassi, and Harry Bertoia, as well as referencing sculptural luminaries such as Antoine Pevsner. This original example has been fully restored while keeping the original rubber shock mounts intact which were still in good vintage condition. The steel wire frame has been sandblasted to remove rust accrued over the last 60 years and then re-powder coated in the original matching RAL black enamel. The usually-missing cushion has been reconstructed from original vintage archive photos and by studying the example exhibited at the RIMA museum exhibition. It is finished in Kvadrat Hallingdal 65 fabric by Nana Ditzel which complements the sculptural grid of the main form of the chair. The rear face of the cushion is finished in tough grey canvas which is resistant to the wire structure.
RIMA started as a small artisan company and later on gained a prominent position among industries that helped define the idea of Italian interiors in the postwar era. In the early 1950s, the company was a leading brand and quickly gained visibility thanks to quality products that were in line with a new aesthetic language. In addition to this, it could count on the support that came from some of the leading names in design. Gio Ponti, Alberto Rosselli, Campo and Graffi, and Franco Albini were some of the designers that were in contact with the RIMA studios, and they created some specific models, produced by the company in Padova, through close collaborations. Rinaldi's talents as a designer were quickly noted and over the years he directly collaborated with a plethora of Italian design icons such as Carlo Mollino, Gio Ponti (with whom he co-designed a couple of chairs for RIMA), Alberto Rosselli, Campo & Graffi, Ico Parisi, Ignazio Gardella, Marco Zanuso, and Ettore Sottsass among others.
One of his most prominent pieces, the DU43 was exhibited at the 2015 museum exhibition on the designs by RIMA and Rinaldi in particular entitled 'RIMA: ricerca e stile' held in the Cigola Fenaroli Valotti palace in Brescia. A follow up book written by G. and J. Drago on Rinaldi's oeuvre entitled 'Gastone Rinaldi, Designer alla RIMA', and was published by Capitolum art in 2015. Further literature sources are listed below:
- 'Gastone Rinaldi. designer alla RIMA', pages 116,180 , G & J Drago, Capitolum art, Brescia 2015
- Rivista Dell Arredamento, April 1955, page 16
- Rivista Dell Arredamento, November 1956, Cover page and pages 2 & 3
- Domus, August 1956, unpaginated, full page advert
- 'Repertorio 1950-1980 page G. Gramigna, , Mondadori, 1985, page 76 please see image 10