The Grete Jalk GJ Chair in Curved Plywood

This chair has grown to be seen as a true work of art with an innovative, avant-garde structure.
The Grete Jalk GJ Chair in Curved Plywood

Last update: 26 October, 2019

The interior design world is full of possibilities. Designers and artists are constantly trying to find new ways to express their ideas. One perfect example of that is the Grete Jalk GJ Chair. This is a common household staple turned into a canvas for an original, avant-garde statement. 

This reflects the evolution of different styles over the years. When artists learn about all the ways people have designed chairs in the past, they end up coming with new aesthetic ideas that help to change the basic trends and bring fresh ideas into the home.

Their main goal is for our interior spaces to be places for innovation and new concepts. Art should fit into the home while also being functional. Always remember that furniture needs to have a practical use. It’s not doing anything for your home if you can’t do anything with it. 

Who is Grete Jalk?

Grete Jalk was a Danish designer whose work was extremely modern. You can see that in all of the furniture she designed. She was always trying to innovate and find new, creative ways to design furniture. In other words, she was an alternative interior designer.

She studied at the Danmarks Designskole (Danish Design School) in the middle of the 20th century. There, she was able to learn under people like the designer Kaare Klint, who ended up being a major inspiration for her. Ultimately, it was at this school that she discovered what kind of things she wanted to design.

In the 1950s, she began to take part in competitions at European design schools so that she could make her own way in the interior decorating world. In these competitions, this brilliant designer tried to show her most personal qualities and ideas.

Grete Jalk has become one of the most significant figures in the history of modern interior design. 

5 characteristics of the Grete Jalk GJ Chair

When it comes to picking out the most important characteristics of the GJ Chair, there are three truly fascinating aspects worth looking at with this model. Those three things are shape, structure, and lines

  1. When you look closely at the chair’s shape, you’ll notice how truly novel its aesthetic is. This is something we really haven’t seen before in the interior design world. Most of the chairs you see in this realm don’t have components that stand out from each other so strongly as they do here.
  2. Curves are the main characteristic of the structure. The chair is made up of a series of wooden boards that curve up and down and around. It gives off a sense of total plasticity as if it could re-shape and mold itself to your desires.
  3. The lines are soft, gentle, and elegant, without any sharp or intense angles. This is just part of what makes the chair so fascinating, how every single aspect of the design is calm and gentle in this way.
  4. The design uses plywood, which makes the chair much stronger and more durable. What it’s trying to do is look like natural wood, but at the same time, it’s that plywood structure that makes it so novel. 
  5. You can clearly see a sense of the avant-garde at work in this chair. It’s obvious from first glance that Grete Jalk thoroughly studied the artistic movements of the 20th century and all the designers who have created truly new pieces of furniture, as she was designing the GJ Chair.

What styles could the GJ Chair be part of?

Black Grete Jalk GJ Chair.

Like we’ve said, this chair definitely fits within the concept of “avant-garde.” But that could involve all kinds of different styles. The main thing to remember as you’re thinking about it is that the shape and aesthetic of this chair are a complete departure from traditional, classic concepts.

The styles it’s closest to are probably minimalist, contemporary, and modernist. It’s hard to deny that the structure and design reflect the artistic ideas that so many people were expressing in the 20th century. In other words, it belongs to a group of truly innovative art.

You could also make it work in a rustic decor scheme, especially with the nice brown from the wood. Just remember that the best space for this chair is one with a strong sense of the contemporary.

How and where can you get one?

This, unfortunately, isn’t a chair you’ll find in most home stores. Because it’s by a renowned designer, the best way to buy it is over the internet. One good place to find them is on the Danish Design Store website. They’ll be able to ship it to your doorstep, without you having to lift a finger!

This probably comes as no surprise, but the price tag can be a bit high. If you’re thinking of buying one, keep in mind that this is a truly significant piece of furniture. After all, you’re basically paying for a piece of art.

It might interest you...
Lilly Reich: Vanguard and Innovative
Decor TipsRead it in Decor Tips
Lilly Reich: Vanguard and Innovative

Have you heard about Lilly Reich? Reich broke free from traditional decor and paves new interior design opportunities, inspiring us even today.



  • Bodil Kjær: Grete Jalk, the Grande Dame of Danish Design, UN, 1990.