A unique take on the concept of ‘Indoor/Outdoor’ furniture is perhaps unintentionally offered in British artist Jonathan Trayte’s recent exhibit of sculptural art furniture, MelonMelonTangerine, at Freidman Benda Gallery. Intended to transport the viewer to an otherworldly botanical garden, pieces like the Black Dakota Lamp (2019) combine industrial materials such as stainless steel, bronze, polymer compound, and reinforced plastics, and brass leaver, with a base covered in crushed glass, and blown-glass light sconces to create an eclectic light-emitting tree.
This and other works in the collection were inspired by Trayte’s recent 2000-mile road trip through the Western United States. With a keen perception and eye for the obscure, the artist finds the surreal in our everyday surroundings and within the fabric of daily life. Realized while in isolation amidst the current pandemic, he recalls hazy visions of sedimentary rock formations, Joshua trees, lichens, silver cholla cacti and prickly pear fruits to inform this new body of work. We are excited to be featuring more whimsical works from MelonMelonTangerine in the coming weeks!
Foscarini, a leading Italian design and manufacturing company that produces masterful and innovative decorative lighting, is one of my favorite showrooms to visit in NYC’s SoHo design district. The company was founded in 1981 on the famous glass-blowing island of Murano in Venice, Italy, and their award-winning and iconic designs are the results of passionate collaboration with world-class designers. To create light is the central vision of each Foscarini project, never losing sight of the connection between the form and the function of illumination.
One of my favorite designs of theirs is the Lumiere Table Lamp, which was created for Foscarini by Milanese architect and designer Rodolfo Dordoni. The Lumiere has an elegant gradation of tones in the glossy finish of its blown glass shade contrasted with the finish of the characteristic tripod base. This light is both beautiful and beautifully crafted. It has a elegant look and emits a soft light. Each of the elements, the glass shade and the metal stand, are well made and have a nice weight — which, with a table lamp, is a desirable. This is a classic lamp that will complement the decor of virtually any room. The blown glass shade comes in your choice of colors that include Polished Cherry (shown), Polished Turquoise and Warm White, with metal-base finishes of Champagne (shown), Aluminum, and Black Chrome. The Lumierecomes in small and large sizes, with this small size lamp retailing for $727.00.
In 1964, Italian designer Giancarlo Mattioli, guided by the era’s enthusiasm for space-age forms and materials, experimented with then-newly-available thermoplastic resins. The result was this Nesso Table Lamp, an object represented in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Invoking an otherworldly mushroom, the Nesso Lamp’s eye-catching shape provides diffused incandescent light. Produced by Artemide, the lamp is available for purchased from the MoMA Design Store (online only) at This Link.
Best known as an Art Deco metalsmith, Edgar Brandt (1880 – 1960) studied metal working at the Ecole nationale professionnelle of Vierzon and established himself in Paris in 1902. There, he began his blacksmith career; his creations first being marked by the Art nouveau aesthetic. Thanks to his extraordinary technical mastery and ingenuity, he received overwhelming numbers of commissions.
In 1925, Brandt opened an art gallery, where he exhibited pieces created by his contemporaries, as well as some of his works and collaborations, such as the ones with Daum or Lalique. This Modernist Table Lamp (1931) features an S-shaped body on a circular base, in nickel-plated metal, with 2 deep-etched glass cylinders. At 8.5-inches wide at the base, and 12.5-inches high, each lamp is stamped (at the base) with the artist’s Signature: E. Brandt, and Daum Nancy France, for the crystal studio and its location, is etched on the glass. Price point is unknown.
The MGM Table Lamp was designed by ‘radical’ Italian designer Lapo Binazzi and manufactured from 1960 to 1969. The MGM name comes from the lamp’s resemblance to the iconic Movie Studio Logo.
MGM Table Lamp (Far Fight) shown here with Binazzi’s Scarica Elettrica and Dollaro Table Lamps
I spotted this piece way back in May of this year during NYCxDesign at R & Company, a gallery at 64 White Street. The extremely beautiful Pink Enamel-finish lamp is now quite a collector’s item that can sell for as much as $14,000!
One of Tiffany Studios‘ most popular models, the Wisteria, was priced as $400 in 1906, placing it among the firm’s most costly lamps. The glass selection for the two lamps (both circa 1901) seen in the above photo created two dramatically different interpretations of the same design. One has a refined color palette ranging from pale blue to azure and cobalt, while the other displays bold contrasts of blue and white clusters.
Wisteria abounded in LC Tiffany’s leaded glass windows and on the grounds of his country estate, Laurelton Hall, and although the vine was a Tiffany favorite, Clara Driscoll’s correspondence identifies her as the designer of the iconic Wisteria lamp, which is composed of nearly 2,000 tiny pieces of glass. Designs for the Trumpet Creeper, Grape, and Apple Blossom, each sold with the same treelike base, followed shortly after the Wisteria.
Photographed in the New York Historical Society on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.