Stunning And Rare Stainless Steel Op Art Table By Ross Littell,1972,icf, Italy
Extremely rare, largest version of the original Ross Littell "Luar" coffee table that was produced by ICF De Padova,Italy in 1972. This is a wonderful example of art functioning as table.
The word "LUAR" means moonlight in Portuguese and perfectly captures the mood and quality of the light reflected from the table's surface.
The table top is made up of 49 brushed finish stainless steel tiles. The individual steel tiles vary in both the angle and depth of their brushed finish resulting in a stunning interplay of light reflection and refraction creating a beautiful optical "shimmering" effect. This large version of the table shows this beautiful effect to its absolute optimum.
Ross Littell was living in Italy in the early 1970s and here you can clearly see the influence of master italian artist Getulio Alviani. Alviani was best known for his "Vibrating Texture Surfaces" sculptures in steel and aluminum . Please see image 9 for photo of Alviani's "superficia testura vibratile" from 1964. As Argan wrote: "These works -in which the artist's operation induces particular effects of luminous reflection and refraction -are both works of art in the usual sense of the term and promoters of visual experience.
The steel grid motif also clearly shows the influence of the american minimalists such as Carl Andre .Please see image 10 for photo of Andre's "weathering piece" from 1970.. Andre was famous for his sculptures made of ordinary industrial materials which are arranged directly on the floor in simple linear arrangements or grids. By reducing sculpture to its most basic elements and re-orientating it from the vertical to the horizontal plane, Andre helped to redefine the possibilities of sculpture for a whole generation of artists
Exploring his own fascination with geometry, nature and motion, Littell experimented with making his own large-scale incised metal wall hangings that he called luminars, the table name "LUAR" clearly also references the influence of these wall hangings on the design of this table.
CASA VOGUE , issue November-December 1972,page 134 (photographed by famous architectural and design photographer Aldo Ballo).
"Repertorio 1950-80", page 367, G. Gramigna, Mondadori, 1985
(please see image 8 ) ,illustrates the three variants that were produced.
Ross Littell (1924-2000) was an american textile designer, artist and furniture designer .Littell's characteristic designs were practical, purposeful and fun. ''The New Furniture'' collection, with its combination of angularity and luxury in Belgian marble, shiny chrome and woven white leather straps that he designed with William Katavolos and Douglas Kelley for the Laverne Company in 1952, is now considered an important collectible from the period. The sling-leather and chrome-frame T-Chair from that series is in the permanent design collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Ross Franklin Littell was born on July 14, 1924, in Los Angeles. After military service, he received a degree in industrial design from Pratt Institute in New York. In 1949, when he was 25, he won an award from the American Institute of Decorators for a low coffee table on tubular steel legs with a top made of birch dowls strung together inside a gumwood frame with handles.
Littell's work quickly attracted the attention of such prominent manufacturers as Knoll and Herman Miller, for whom he worked extensively in the 1950's and 60's. In the 1960s he introduced the ‘graphic look’ into textiles by composing textile patterns, consisting of individual lines creating infinite geometrical figures. His patterns are also renowned for the way they combine light and shade to create the graphical-optical illusion of being three-dimensional. He moved to Copenhagen in 1960 and then to Italy, where he also worked on textile and furniture designs for prominent European manufacturers, among them Unika Vaev in Denmark and ICF DePadova in Italy.
Exploring his fascination with geometry, nature and motion, he experimented with making large-scale incised metal wall hangings that he called luminars. He also developed innovative fabric patterns based on the play of arithmetical combinations and a sense of rhythmic movement.
Littell continued to present new furniture and textile designs while expanding his interests to designing art, carpets and tiles for corporate settings. Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Montreal included his textile work in the exhibition ''Design: What Modern Was, 1935-65'' in 1991 at the I.B.M. Gallery in New York.