Three figures sitting on colorful boxes

Tom Loeser: Please Please Please

Three figures sitting on colorful boxes
Tom Loeser, LA/Chicago/New York, 2016; wood, paint, felt, 12 x 17 x 26 inches; image courtesy of the artist

Exhibition runs August 4, 2018 through October 28, 2018

If the furniture we sit on every day were totally different, would our lives be different too? That is one question posed by Madison-based designer/maker Tom Loeser. His longstanding investigation of unconventional, invitational furniture forms began in the early 1980s with a series of Folding Chairs, colorful seats that double as wall-hung art. In more recent years, he has made chests that swivel and slide, rocking chairs for two, rotary-action benches, and many other surprising shapes. When in use, these pieces immediately create opportunities for interaction – not only between people and objects, but between people and other people too.

Accessible and entertaining, to be sure, Loeser’s work also has a purpose: to shake up our habits and encourage us to be playful with our environment and with one another. The exhibition is comprised of approximately 14 furniture pieces by Loeser, most of which are newly made, as well as framed artworks.

This exhibition was curated by Glenn Adamson.

This exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication with essays by guest curator Glenn Adamson and author of Amateur Craft and Theory, Stephen Knott.

About Tom Loeser:

Tom Loeser designs and builds one-of-a-kind functional and dysfunctional objects that are based on the history of design and object-making as a starting point for developing new form and meaning. He has been head of the wood/furniture area in the Department of Art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison since 1991. He holds a BA from Haverford College, a BFA from Boston University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Loeser is the recipient of four Visual Artist Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and an NEA Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship. His work has been featured in many national and international exhibitions and is in the collections of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Museum of Art and Design, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts and many other institutions. He was elected to the American Craft Council College of Fellows in 2012.


Thursday, August 16, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Downtown at Sundown
SDSU Downtown Gallery

Tuesday, September 18, 5:30 p.m.
Lecture by Tom Loeser
SDSU Campus
Student Services West, Room 1500

Thursday, September 20, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Opening reception with the Artist
SDSU Downtown Gallery

Thursday, October 18, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Downtown at Sundown
SDSU Downtown Gallery

All events are free and open to the public.

Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is co-presented by the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and the Museum of Craft and Design and curated by Glenn Adamson.

The exhibition and events are sponsored by Ron Abramson, Diane Powers, Rob Sidner, the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego, Wendy Maruyama and Bill Schairer, Reuben Foat, and the Visiting Artists and Lecturers Committee. Additional support is provided by the School of Art + Design, the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, Arts Alive SDSU, and the San Diego State University Art Council Ambassadors.

Museum of Craft Design LogoHouston Center for Contemporary Craft Logo