Eye On Design: Pillola Lamps By C. Emanuele Ponzio

Pillola Lamps at Cooper Hewitt
All Photos By Gail

In the 1960s, youth culture asserted itself, changing society’s rhythms of mass production and consumption, and generating a sense of upheaval and freedom. The Pop Art movement emerged, taking inspiration from mass media and the everyday. Bold colors, new material and radical forms characterized the work of artists and designers whose appropriation of the ordinary made brash or ironic statements.

Pillola Lamps at Cooper Hewitt
Note: Tongue Chair in the Background

Italy’s anti-design movement of the mid-1960s and 1970s is fully expressed in the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the Pillola Lamps (1968, designed by C. Emanuele Ponzio, b, 1923). Challenging notices of “good design,” the anti-design movement took its visual cues from pop art’s use of bold colors and banal subject matter. Conceived as a group, the lamps look like oversized pills poured from a giant medicine bottle.

Pillola Lamps at MOMA
Illuminated Pillola Lamps Photographed at MOMA. Non-Illuminated Lamps Photographed at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.

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