Gino Sarfatti “Moon”
Gae Aulenti “Rimorchiadore”
Gino Sarfatti “N°1063″
Ettore Sottsass “Asteroid”
Michel Buffet floor lamp
If there is a domain in which Italian design shines — likewise for Scandinavians — it is light. Only the birthplace of Renaissance could renew and enhance this accessory, indispensable to man for the pursuit of activities whatever the time, with such creative freedom in the post-war years. From this creative profusion, Galerie BSL unveils its pantheon of 1950s to 1980s lighting, a vintage selection rigorously guided by quality and rarity. This new gallery — which opened only a year ago but which has already exhibited at the prestigious Pavillon des Arts et du Design and will do so at Design Miami/Basel — has chosen to only show twenty handpicked pieces. A welcome commitment to help collectors, at a time when everything is ‘design,’ in a market where the best and worst are displayed side by side.
Can be found: duly referenced, often award-winning, always admired lighting icons. Pieces which are above all a metamorphosis of an everyday object into a contemporary sculpture, amazing in their strength and unique character. For many specialists, Gino Sarfatti, creator of hundreds of models, is the 20th century’s greatest lighting designer. “I have never been interested in form,” he confesses, defining himself as an artisan. Everything starts with the bulb for this great chrome stand enthusiast who invented a lamp kit to change as you wish into nine different types of lighting, wall light, reflector, etc.
Credit where credit is due, Gino Sarfatti occupies a core place in this exhibition. The most spectacular piece and the most important: the large N°2068 ceiling light designed in 1952. With its thirty lights, it conjures up a modern castle, a church candelabra or the crown of candles worn by young girls in the procession during the Festival of Light in Nordic countries. Everything is sober, meticulous, but also ethereal with Sarfatti, who chooses to leave the wire apparent “because you have to be able to look at the reason for the lamp.”* Amongst others is the extremely rare wall light N°194 (1950) in brass and lacquered metal, the audacious lamp N°1063 which totally changed the idea of domestic lighting (Compasso d’Oro in 1954, prestigious Italian design award), the table lamp N°604 called Moon (1969), with a scattering of micro-bulbs like lunar craters.
For at the era of the conquest of space, tomorrow’s light comes from outer space, following the example of the Asteroide (1968) table lamp, a very ‘pop’ creation by Ettore Sottsass, leader of the Memphis neo- baroque movement. Made of perspex, it reflects peninsula designers’ taste for new materials adaptable to the craziest shapes. The Golden Gate by Nanda Vigo features amongst the exhibition’s centrepieces, extensive refined architecture spanning two metres which won its designer, influenced by the silhouette of the eponymous bridge, the New York Prize for Industrial Design in 1971, or Rimorchiatore by Gae Aulenti (1969), an example of which appears in the Centre Pompidou collection. Also featuring are creations by the Italians Angelo Lelli – the Calder of lighting -, Studio A.R.D.I.T.I., Matteo Thun and Joe Colombo (honoured by a retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2007).
Without forgetting, for comparison, works by Français Michel Buffet in the vein of Serge Mouille and the German master Ingo Maurer. Finally to complete this vintage selection the Escargot (snail) lamp, created by Le Corbusier in 1954 for the Cité Radieuse in Marseille, produced for the first time in 2011 by Cassina with a limited edition of 150 numbered pieces. In short, a historical and didactic journey displaying all that today’s creators owe these exemplary light designs.
– Alexandre Crochet, journalist, art historian.
Italian Lights, May 20 – July 23, at Galerie BSL
Combining ground breaking design, fantastic cuisine and stunning locations, The Cube by Electrolux is taking fine dining to a new level. Travelling across Belgium, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden, two spectacularly designed restaurants will be popping up at some of Europe’s most famous landmarks, inspiring guests with wonderful meals, events and once-in-a-lifetime views.
The Cube is fully transparent and consisting of glass encased in a white, laser-cut aluminium layer. Everything apart from the floor is pure white.
The interior is white Corian in combination with matt and glossily varnished wood. The wooden floor and carpet under the tables give it extra warmth and atmosphere, while the terrace outside provides an exclusive view across the Jubelpark, the centre of Brussels, the Atomium, etc.
The Cube is sited on top of the triumphal arch at a height of 45 metres. The entire structure has a surface area of 150 m2 and weighs 60 tonnes. The guests are taken to the top of the arch by lift.
Richard Meier will once again begin welcoming visitors to his Long Island City model warehouse, a 3600-square feet and features works from spanning the Pritzker Prize winner’s 40-year career.
Most prominent in the museum are large scale presentation models and study models of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, an institution widely regarded as Mr. Meier’s most ambitious project and one that required fifteen years to complete. The collection also includes the first model for the Smith House in Connecticut, one of the early works that established Mr. Meier’s reputation, a series of un-built projects such as a 2002 design for the World Trade Center Memorial Square in New York, prototypes for furniture and product design as well as collages and sculptures composed of wax elements, architectural model pieces and stainless steel.
Tours of the gallery are by appointment only and last approximately 45 minutes. Appointments can be made through Richard Meier & Partners Architects: firstname.lastname@example.org. The model museum is closed to the public during the winter months due to the climate’s impact on the models.
Richard Meier Model Museum, Long Island City, Richard Meier & Partners Architects
In this fresh look at the work of Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), the Petit Palais reveals for the first time the part played by photography in her creative process, both as a source of inspiration and sometimes as an actual component of her pieces. When she joined the Le Corbusier/Pierre Jeanneret studio as furniture design associate in 1928, she at once began using photography for her preliminary studies, then as a means for observing the “laws of nature” — in the mountains, especially — and the urban context. This provided her with inspiration for her experiments with forms, materials and spatial arrangements. The exhibition also particularly emphasises her passion for objects found in the course of her walks; in their distancing of the rationalist spirit of the 1920s, these brought greater flexibility and formal freedom to her work.
Charlotte Perriand 1903-1999: From photography to interior design
April 7 – September 18, Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
Prototypes & Material Compositions (Pile Up) Including Basket Lamps and Basket Low Tables, 2010
Material Composition 1 (Totem), Polystyrene, Paper, Senegalese Sweetgrass and Polyethylene Basket, Birch Plywood, Acrylic Paint and Oak
The Studio Museum in Harlem is pleased to present Stephen Burks: Man Made, a unique project that furthers industrial designer Stephen Burks’s ongoing exploration of the global economy of artisanal craft. Inspired by Burks’s collaboration with Senegalese basket weavers based in New York and Dakar, as well as projects with artisans in South Africa, Peru and India, Man Made starts with the traditional basket-weaving process as its core concept. During the exhibition, the Museum’s galleries will be transformed into a workshop where New York-based weavers and artisans will create a series of functional and experimental objects and installations conceived by Burks.
Stephen Burks: Man Made, March 31 – June 26, at Studio Museum New York
Photography by Daniel Håkansson for Readymade Projects
Le Corbusier, Assembly Hall (Chandigarh, India) Roof model (1964).
Plaster and painted wood
UNStudio (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos) Mercedes-Benz Museum Model (2001-2006) Stuttgart, Germany. Composite board, plastic and paint
Jürgen Mayer H, Mensa Karlsruhe Dining Hall model (2005-2006) Karlsruhe, German. Laser-cut polystyrene, glue, white airbrushed paint
Curated by Barry Bergdoll - the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design – and curatorial assistant Margot Weller, Building Collections, at MoMA New York, highlights recent acquisitions made by the museum’s Department of Architecture and Design. Covering eight distinct themed areas that encompass the full range of the collection – which dates from 1890 to the present – the exhibition includes everything from delicate sketches by the likes of Heinz and Bodo Rasch (Suspension Houses Project) to the complete paraphernalia of the design process, such as the models, sketches and plans for UNStudio’s Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The vast majority of pieces on display are being shown exclusively for the very first time.
Wright is set to auction this sofa designed by Alexander Girard for Herman Miller client, Braniff International Airways. Signed with applied inventory label to leg: [Braniff International Airways Property No. 107089].
Sofa, model 66303, by Alexander Girard, for Herman Miller, 1967, Auction at Wright, Estimate: $6,000–8,000
Wright is set to auction a spectacular set of clocks designed by George Nelson for the Howard Miller Clock Company of Zeeland, Michigan.
Triangle Wall Clock, model 2225A, 1955; Clocknik Table Clock, model 2270, 1959; Wall Clock, model 2237, 1957; Platter Wall Clock, model 2274A, 1959, by Howard Miller Clock Company, Auction at Wright
This pioneering exhibition of approximately 180 objects from the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw, featuring the most important examples of Polish design, rarely seen in the west, explores the significance of the objects of everyday use in shaping modernity and the modern Polish identity emerging during the post-thaw period.
The collection of post-1945 design in the National Museum in Warsaw is the most comprehensive in Poland, and the exhibition benefits from it, showing a whole range of applied arts of the period, including ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture, and other household objects, periodicals, photographs, and films.
Polish Design 1955-1968: We Want to Be Modern, at The National Museum in Warsaw, February 4th – April 17th
A series of chairs named Moon will be shown at the Moroso showroom during the upcoming Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. The chairs will be presented in an installation called Twilight.
“The installation Twilight, releasing the infinitive light rays in the white space, creates a scene as if the light breaks through the cloud, and the crepuscular rays pour into the ground. The crepuscular rays is a beatiful natural phenomenon known as angel’s ladder. This heavenly light profiles the chair Moon. The light reflects on the surface of the chairs and reveals the beauty of the textures exists in the various white materials.”
Exhibition: Twilight-Tokujin Yoshioka, by Tokujin Yoshioka, April 12 – April 17, at Moroso Showroom, Milan