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Bay Lamp by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis

About

Ettore Sottsass, the founder of Memphis, designed this lamp for the Memphis 1983 collection. This example from 2010-2015 production. Includes bulb (1- 42w, E27 base, 230v - 50 HZ). Black electrical cord. Memphis identification tag on back of base. New in original carton. The bay lamp illustrates Ettore Sottsass eagerness to play with the conventions of lighting. He foregoes the lampshade entirely, enclosing the bulb in translucent plastic with orange plexiglass disks used to radiate the light out from the source. The quality of the light is soft, with a magical ambiance of warm light radiating from the centre, emphasizing the color of the disks. Sottsass totemic style in this lamp relate both geometrically and philosophically to his own personal vision and the manifesto of New Design and Memphis. A bold and iconic summation of all that is Memphis.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent. New in original carton.
  • Dimensions

    H 19.5 in. x Dm 15.5 in.

    H 49.53 cm x Dm 39.37 cm

  • Diameter
    15.5 in. (39.37 cm)
  • Seller location
    Denton, MD
  • Seller reference number
    17.MEMPH.BAY.01
  • Reference number
    LU153624359153

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About Ettore Sottsass (Designer)

An architect, industrial designer, philosopher and provocateur, Ettore Sottsass led a revolution in the aesthetics and technology of modern design in the late 20th century.

     Sottsass was the oldest member of the Memphis Group — a design collective, formed in Milan in 1980, whose irreverent, spirited members included Alessandro Mendini, Michele de Lucchi, Michael Graves, and Shiro Kuramata. All had grown disillusioned by the staid, black-and-brown “corporatized” modernism that had become endemic in the 1970s. Memphis (the name stemmed from the title of a Bob Dylan song) countered with bold, brash, colorful, yet quirkily minimal designs for furniture, glassware, ceramics and metalwork. They mocked high-status by building furniture with inexpensive materials such as plastic laminates, decorated to resemble exotic finishes such as animal skins. Their work was both functional and — as intended — shocking.

     Sottsass's most-recognized designs appeared in the first Memphis collection, issued in 1981— notably the multihued, angular “Carlton” room divider and “Casablanca” bookcase. As pieces on these pages demonstrate, however, Sottsass is at his most imaginative and expressive in smaller, secondary furnishings such as lamps and chandeliers, and in table pieces and glassware that have playful and sculptural qualities.

     It was as an artist that Ettore Sottsass was celebrated in his life, in exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 2006, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art a year later. Even then Sottsass’s work prompted critical debate. And for a man whose greatest pleasure was in astonishing, delighting and ruffling feathers, perhaps there was no greater accolade. That the work remains so revolutionary and bold — that it breaks with convention so sharply it will never be considered mainstream — is a testament to his genius.

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