An homage both to the organic and the psychedelic, Onion represents just one aspect of the immersive, space-age environments that the Danish designer Verner Panton (1926-1998) created in the late 1960s and early 1970s while designing for the German manufacturer Mira-X. Onion’s undulating layers of green hues have a sensorial effect, from the optical illusion of movement to the tactility of a cross-section of the vegetable itself. “One has the feeling that Panton was trying to bring back to life the whole of this complex of senses,” wrote Torben Schmidt in Mobilia in 1970. Though best known today for his iconic molded plastic chair, Panton exemplified the experimental and liberating ideas behind Op Art design with his kaleidoscopic textile designs like Onion. Panton later adapted this pattern for one of his most recognizable lighting designs.
A panel in a different color way is preserved in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2001.405.2).