Vitra Home Stories: Artist Paul Schrader expresses feelings in colors

This winter, the Swiss brand Vitra invites us to take a look behind the doors of three homes, all as different as their residents. In this story, we meet Hamburg-based artist Paul Schrader who has created a studio and home for himself and his art.

Vitra Standard chair, Prouvé Bleu Dynastie - oak
The light-filled dining room is furnished with the Standard chairs and Guéridon table, both by Jean Prouvé.


Artist Paul Schrader, who first worked as a lawyer before becoming a freelance artist in 2018. He lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. Schrader’s colorful paintings are expressive and abstract.

Artist Paul Schrader
“Painting is a very private process – you need to feel secure and at ease. You need a place where you can open up and let go,” Paul Schrader believes.

“WHEN IT COMES to furnishing, I don’t follow a strategy: I like something, and it all sort of fits together and just like a painting, furniture can function as a time capsule. The moment of creation has passed, but there was someone who painted it or, in the case of furniture, who designed it.

Vitra Physix task chair
The task chair from Vitra’s Physix collection features a lightweight design with an airy mesh seat.
Vitra Toolbox, tangerine
Vitra’s Toolbox is ideal for a variety of uses – such as for storing art supplies.

When I graduated high school, I didn’t think being an artist was a real profession. I first studied law and became a lawyer. But painting was always there.

I believe that when you feel a burning passion for something, you release energy and create things that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve.

Vitra Ball Clock, black - brass
The Ball Clock is one of the many clocks that George Nelson designed between 1948 and 1960.
Vitra Hang it all coat rack, multicolor
Charles and Ray Eames designed the colorful Hang it all coat rack in 1953.

Inspiration is like a spring or a river. The next flow of ideas always comes, but you can’t tell when. It might be at night or while riding the subway. For me, it’s mainly colour combinations, inner landscapes or dreamscapes. It’s a feeling that I then express in colours.

“The next flow of ideas always comes, but you can’t tell when.”

I live and work in different places, but this is my base, this is where I like to paint the most. It doesn’t work everywhere. A house is like a canvas. Mine has very high walls and high ceilings, all in white, and the paintings are displayed against this background.

Vitra Cork Family side table/stool, Model A
Vitra’s Grand Repos lounge chair and ottoman were designed by Antonio Citterio in 2011. The Cork Family stool is by Jasper Morrison.
Vitra Eames LTR Occasional table
Thanks to its compact size, Charles and Ray Eames’ LTR Occasional table finds a place almost everywhere.
Vitra Wooden doll 9
An extra large version of Alexander Girard’s Wooden doll 9 decorates the plant corner.

I like to keep my furniture in the same spot. Once it fits, it fits. It’s like a painting that you compose and then is never changed.

When you see an art work, you recognise an intrinsic value, a cultural context in mind. The author, the time and the work merge into a single idea. That also applies to classic furniture.”

Shop Vitra favorites

Physix Studio task chair
Hang it all coat rack
Cork Family stool
LTR Occasional table
Standard chair
Ball Clock
Toolbox, tangerine
Wooden Doll 9

See also:

Vitra Home Stories: Karin and Xavier Donck collect objects that tell stories >
All Vitra products >

Edit: Nora Uotila Images: Vitra

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