Sunday, February 15, 2015

Object of the day: Memphis Group "Super" Table Lamp by Marine Bedin. (c. 1981 Italy)

Medium
Fibreglass, enamel, steel and rubber.
Signed/Inscribed/Dated Metal Label to base.
Dimensions 42.00cm wide 30.00cm high 9.00cm deep (16.54 inches wide 11.81 inches high 3.54 inches deep)
Literature Lit- Barbara Radice “Memphis” London 1985. P.104
Description / Expertise Martine Bedin for Memphis.
“Super” Table Lamp.
Fibreglass, enamel, steel and rubber.
Metal Label to base.
Designed 1981
H 30 cms X W 42 cms x 9 cms

Lit- Barbara Radice “Memphis” London 1985. P.104
Price gbp 2400.00 (Pound Sterling)
The Memphis Group was an Italian design and architecture group founded in Milan by Ettore Sottsass in 1981 that designed Postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects from 1981 to 1987. The Memphis group's work often incorporated plastic laminate and was characterized by ephemeral design featuring colourful decoration and asymmetrical shapes, sometimes arbitrarily alluding to exotic or earlier styles.


Their solution was to continue the experiments with uncoventional materials, historic forms, kitsch motifs and gaudy colours begun by Studio Alchymia, the radical late 1970s Italian design group to which Sottsass and De Lucchi had belonged. When the young Jasper Morrison and a couple of thousand others crowded into Arc ’74 on 18 September 1981 they discovered furniture made from the flashily coloured plastic laminates emblazoned with kitsch geometric and leopard-skin patterns usually found in 1950s comic books or cheap caf├ęs.


Sottsass’ 1981 Beverly cabinet sported green and yellow ‘snakeskin’ laminate doors with brown ‘tortoiseshell’ book shelves at a topsy turvy angle and a bright red bulb in the light. Martine Bedin’s 1981 Superlamp ressembled an illuminated dachsund with multi-coloured bulbs framing a richly-coloured fibreglass arc.

Perfectly in tune with an era when pop culture was dominated by the post-punk flamboyance of early 1980s new romanticism, Memphis was also a colourful, clearly defined manifestation of the often obscure post-modernist theories then so influential in art and architecture.

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