Oksen Chair

Oksen Chair
The powerful, angular shapes of the Oksen easy chair from 1966 marks a departure from the organic forms that had characterized Arne Jacobsen’s furniture designs over the previous decade.
Arne Jacobsen
Photo: Aage Strüwing / Fritz Hansen.

The Oksen (the Ox) chair from 1966 is Arne Jacobsen’s biggest chair, and like the Egg, it is a striking design. The chair, which Arne Jacobsen worked on for years before it was ready to launch, illustrates how he never stopped developing and renewing his expression following the huge success of his furniture designs from the 1950s.

With the Oksen chair, Arne Jacobsen moved away from the organic expression that had characterized his furniture designs over the previous decade. At the launch in 1966 he surprised everybody with a powerful, angular chair with an international expression. With its imposing size and masculine air, it points to the American lounge chair, while the lines were described in the press as having a ‘Japanese quality’. The chair was only briefly in production during the 1960s, but in 2017, the original design was relaunched by Fritz Hansen.

Photo: Aage Strüwing / Fritz Hansen.

Arne Jacobsen worked on Oksen for a full five years before the launch in 1966. As part of this experimental process, he had Fritz Hansen produce a prototype of a chair that had the silhouette of Oksen but a different construction. This early prototype was a shell construction with padding on the front; it rested on four legs and was smaller, with a much more modest expression. When Oksen was later realized as an easy chair, it was as a broader and more laid-back lounge chair with a five-star swivel base in aluminium. Unlike the smaller prototype, the large, powerful Oksen fully lives up to its imposing name.

The Ox
Manufactured by
Photo: Stjernegaard Fotografi.

With its imposing size and masculine air, Oksen points to the American lounge chair, while the lines were described in the press as having a ‘Japanese quality’.

The Oksen Chair exemplifies how Arne Jacobsen continued to explore certain key themes throughout his career while also constantly renewing his design approach. Like the Egg, Arne Jacobsen’s iconic furniture classic from 1958, Oksen appears as an interpretation of the classic wingback chair, its enclosed, sculptural form confidently commanding the space around it. With Oksen, Arne Jacobsen also moved away from the soft, organic idiom that characterized the iconic furniture classics he created during the 1950s. With Oksen he was experimenting with a different, more clear-cut and angular expression that sparked attention in 1966 and still appears distinct and imposing today.


Sources: Arne Jacobsen Design Archives. / Arne Jacobsen’s drawings. The collection of architectural drawings, The Royal Library – Danish Art Library. / Stenum Poulsen, K., Skaarup Larsen, A., & Staunsager, S. (2020). Arne Jacobsen – Designing Denmark. Kolding: Trapholt.  / Thau, C., & Vindum, K. (1998). Arne Jacobsen. Copenhagen: Danish Architectural Press.

more furniture