Designer, Furniture Maker
Award of Distinction Recipient
Presented by The Furniture Society
June 18, 2010
Born in 1946 in Altadena, CA, and educated at California State University at Long Beach, (B.A. 1969, M.A. 1971), Cederquist is currently on the faculty of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA. He is widely recognized for witty and masterful plays on dimensional illusion in his sculpture and furniture pieces, which have been exhibited in such major exhibitions as California Design at the Pasadena Art Museum, CRAFT TODAY: Poetry of the Physical at the American Craft Museum, The Eloquent Object at the Philbrook Museum of Art, New American Furniture: The Second Generation of Studio Furnituremakers and The Maker’s Hand: American Studio Furniture, 1940-1990, both at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
A retrospective, John Cederquist: Reality of Illusion, was presented at the Oakland Museum of California and the Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution 1997-2000 and accompanied by a catalog with essays by the critics Arthur C. Danto and Nancy Princenthal. Successive solo exhibitions of his work have been shown at the Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, since 1991.
“John has a voice like no other furniture maker today,” said Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, chair of the 2010 Award of Distinction Committee, in announcing the award. “His furniture includes references to contemporary culture, to comic strips and traditional Japanese block prints. As a measure of his talent, he has inspired a generation of furniture makers to think of their art in new ways without spawning a group of imitators.”
In a 2006 review in The New York Times of his show Kosode Built as in a Dream, the writer Grace Glueck described these kimonos, in the shape of garments on display, as “ingeniously wrought of various kinds of wood, put together and painted so as to simulate the folds and draperies of actual garments. Their surfaces are then adorned with extravagant motifs that sometimes refer to masterpieces of an earlier age…these robes actually open to reveal interior systems of shelves and drawers.”
Cederquist has received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, in 1975 and 1986. In 2002 he was elected to the American Craft Council College of Fellows. Leading museums hold his work in their collections, among them the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University Art Gallery, and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.