Lot 308
  • 308

Ron Arad (b. 1951)

15,000 - 25,000 GBP
18,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • An early 'Bookworm'

steel, the bookends attached to a bending sheet of metal


The current lot is one of three shown at the 1992 Milan Design Fair. Other examples have been subsequently produced in the current form by Ron Arad Associates and in plastic by Kartell.


Ron Arad talks to Matthew Collings, New York, London, 2004, pp. 137, 145, 147;

Deyan Sudjic, Ron Arad, Singapore, 1999, pp. 103-107.

Catalogue Note

The Bookworm derives from an idea which triggered off a whole family of shelving units: 'The Mortal Coil', the 'Mini-Bookworm', 'One Way or Another' and the 'Lovely Rita'. Before it was licensed by Kartell to become mass produced in PVC it started as a one-off piece in steel in Arad's London based One Off studio. Like many of his pieces, it did not come about through a private commission but was an evolving idea, far from predicting the future success of its descendant. The current lot is the piece shown at the Milan Design Fair in 1992 and shortly after released in an edition of 20 longer steel versions. Arad says that he wasn't even all that serious about it when he first designed it, but thinks that the success of the later versions lies in the fact that it started life as a studio piece and was generally photogenic. He describes the first attempts to bring it to life as 'very difficult and demanding' (Op.cit., p. 144). Indeed this prototype still is a wild creature. Once fixed into place however it successfully tames the rough latent energy of coiled steel and combines a powerful elegance with wild grace. Sudjic specifically highlights the Bookworm in his monograph on Arad as a symonym for his thought and production process (Sudjic, op. cit., inside cover).