MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

LOEWE LAMPS

2024.04.17

Text by Francesca Fontanesi

LOEWE’s exhibition at the 2024 Salone del Mobile reflects the brand’s constant investment in craftsmanship and its dedication to collaborating with artists within and beyond its immediate production. Among these are Alvaro Barrington, Akiko Hirai, and Jennifer Lee.

LOEWE Lamps
Palazzo Citterio, Milan
From 15–21 April, 2024

 

 

For Loewe, Design Week is an event that allows the brand to venture into creative experiments with artists, delving into knowledge accumulated over generations in the fields of design and craftsmanship. For many of the 24 artists present, this was their first time creating a lamp; the project allowed them to use a wide range of materials, leveraging the characteristics of each to create surprising interactions with light. For many of them, it was also an opportunity to introduce new techniques and materials into their artistic practice. Playing with the flexibility of bamboo, birch branches, and horsehair; with the translucency of paper and lacquered finishes; and with the dynamic contrasting reflective effects of glass, leather, and ceramics, they create shapes inspired by both natural and man-made objects: from lighters to shop shutters, from mutant microorganisms to suspended pumpkins. Among the pendant lamp projects, the work of Genta Ishizuka resembles an amorphous organic cell. Ishizuka is a urushi lacquer artist who won the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize in 2019. His lamp is finished with layers of glossy lacquer that are removed to reveal flashes of gold finishes, enhancing the delicate glow of the light emanating from within. The renowned ceramist Dame Magdalene Odundo instead used leather for her pendant lamp. Curled to form sharp spires, the leather strips protrude from a central column: an experimental deviation from the round, handmade vases for which the artist is famous. But there’s also Enrico David’s table lamp: David encapsulates his interest in the human form as a theater of metamorphosis and transformation, resembling a figure arching with a face that stands out against the illuminated onyx disc.

Let There Be Light!

 

 

 

The table lamp by Hafu Matsumoto is made with intertwined filaments of flattened bamboo, showcasing his mastery in harnessing the plant’s flexibility, acquired over decades of training, including under the bamboo weaving master Iizuka Shokansai. The floor lamp by Alvaro Barrington, which takes the form of a storefront with metal shutters – reminiscent of those in New York bodegas – complete with a pull cord shaped like Loewe’s signature golden ring chain, is the result of his exploration of iconic doorways and the urban landscape of his youth in New York. Similarly, Zizipho Poswa’s work draws from her personal memories of life in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa and the daily Xhosa rituals she witnessed as a young girl. Her floor lamp is made of ceramic, glass, and bronze and takes the form of a vase supporting a bowl of luminous spheres. The complete list of participating artists is as follows: Alvaro Barrington (Venezuela), Nicholas Byrne (UK), Enrico David (Italy), Andile Dyalvane (South Africa), Ernst Gamperl (Germany), Kazunori Hamana (Japan), Anthea Hamilton (UK), Akiko Hirai (Japan), Joe Hogan (Ireland), Ann Van Hoey (Belgium), Genta Ishizuka (Japan), Dahye Jeong (South Korea), Takuro Kuwata (Japan), Jennifer Lee (UK), Young Soon Lee (South Korea), Anne Low (Canada), Hafu Matsumoto (Japan), Magdalene Odundo (Kenya), Zizipho Poswa (South Africa), Magali Reus (Netherlands), Chikuunsai Tanabe IV (Japan), Andrea Walsh (UK), Cerith Wyn Evans (UK), and Shohei Yokoyama (Japan).

For the Salone, Loewe also once again presents a collection of home accessories, consisting of ikebana vases, doorstops, and paperweights made of woven leather, as well as bespoke projects created in collaboration with the artists featured in this year’s exhibition. Bamboo artist Hafu Matsumoto has reimagined the iconic Puzzle and Hammock bags, creating two new designs, a hobo and a pocket bag, all available in black or tan leather. Also renowned for his mastery in bamboo craftsmanship, 2017 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize finalist Chikuunsai Tanabe has transferred his weaving skill onto calf leather to create intricate baskets. Ann Van Hoey has created a series of bowls, made from scraps of lamb nappa leather, in 21 exclusive color variations, showcasing her iconic mastery of proportions and mathematical precision. Demonstrating her pioneering work in loom weaving and drawing inspiration from her 1999 series Takarabako, artist Kay Sekimachi has reimagined the Puzzle Fold totes in two dimensions, also creating a new bucket bag model, both made from jacquard fabric. All these items will be exclusively available at Palazzo Citterio alongside a selection of limited edition candles characterized by the new scent Roasted Hazelnut, inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which embraces finding beauty in imperfection and the spontaneity of handmade objects.

For further information loewe.com.

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