Color was a central element in all of Verner Panton’s designs for interiors and furniture, and in particular, textiles, which became his most important vehicle for color in the futurist environments for which he is best known. Born in Denmark, Panton lived and worked most of his life in Basel, Switzerland, where by the mid-1950s he was an internationally acclaimed interior architect and designer. He studied at the Technical College from 1944-47 followed by architecture studies at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen from 1947-51. He was greatly influenced by his mentor, Poul Henningsen, a Danish designer known for his iconic lighting design of the mid-20th century. Equally influential was Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen, and between 1950 and 1952 Panton worked in his office. When he left Jacobsen’s office, he traveled throughout Europe introducing designs for chairs, lighting, and textiles to a number of companies and obtaining commissions mainly for Danish projects.
Cooper-Hewitt has in its collection seven textiles from 1983 produced by Mira-X, a Swiss textile manufacturer that collaborated with Panton. This group of textiles includes this piece, one of his more innovative and unusual fabrics produced during the early 1970s, Finesse: Circle, which is printed and has areas of burnout within the printed circles. This process created a semi-translucent textile that when held up to the light creates a very dappled light and feeling of three-dimensionality. Finesse designs also included Square and Curve.