Biographical Statement
During the 1950's & 60's David Orth traveled with his family throughout the US, Mexico, and Central America He has resided at length in Texas, Costa Rica, Guatemala, North Carolina, and Chicago. Since 1972, Orth has lived and worked in the Chicago area. Orth is one of Chicago's top furniture artists, an innovative educator, and a furniture industry designer.

Beginning, naively and working on his own, Orth searched for a way to make "simple, solid, truthful furniture". This inner and outer quest blossomed slowly into startling, provocative structures and a respectful facility with metals, woods, and other materials. Orth articulates his themes through structural relationships alluding to the forgotten and hidden forces in life. Current work is largely crafted in bronze with details of concrete and steel.

Orth's graduate studies in philosophy helped him understand the profound social and spiritual significance of serious craft. Orth sees craft in a broad global and historical context which includes Eastern, Western, and indigenous perspectives. Orth believes that art is an opportunity to understand something important about life. For him, furniture - the sculpture we all live closest to - is full of latent connections between philosophy, science, spirituality, and ordinary, day-to-day concerns. For David, craft is a way of walking through life and taking it in on many levels. His essay "The Riddle of Craft" is published on-line by Far West Editions in their journal Material for Thought.

Orth's furniture has been featured in museums and galleries since the early 1980's. DAVID ORTH & VORTEX DESIGN: 4 GENERATIONS, 1 SINGLE THREAD, a special focus of the Chicago Athenaeum's NEW CHICAGO FURNITURE VIII, featured Orth's work, apprenticeship program, and the work of his graduates at Vortex Design. FURNITURE OF THE 90'S selected Orth as one of 25 American furniture artists and was exhibited in New York at the Franklin Parrasch Gallery and in Houston at the American Society of Furniture Artists.

Reviews & testimonials:
The "New Art Examiner" has ranked Orth's furniture among the "most sophisticated work, displaying an articulate, loving sense of craftsmanship drawn from the past...sustained conceptually by...humor and personal vision....highly sensual...finely tuned...consistent...truly 'art furniture.'"

WBEZ Chicago Public Radio singled out Orth's tables at the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design observing that, "they really occupy that space between 'what is furniture?' and 'what is art?' and they don't in any way take advantage of cow spots or carved palm trees or some of the art furniture stuff we've gotten so used to. Really very, very beautiful work." (Victoria Lautman)

Lois B. Gries, a recent president of the American Society of Interior Designers, Illinois Chapter, endorses Orth's approach: "I have worked with David Orth very successfully over some time. My clients are very impressed with the originality, timelessness and quality of his functional art. His work is uniquely his own style and works so well in any environment. I am easily able to communicate with him as to my clients' needs and he never fails to deliver a design that is beautiful, appropriate, and on time."

Marilyn Davis ASID, IIDA, of Marilyn Davis Interiors and recently celebrated in Chicago Home & Garden Magazine says:, "Professionalism is the operative word in working with David Orth. His follow-through and timeliness are admirable. As an interior designer, I appreciate the artistic integrity with which David adapts his designs to specific sites."


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