OBJECT <> PLASTIC <> SEARCH

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Deda vase | Giotto Stoppino | Heller, Italy | 1972 | UPDATE

An update to my post of January 20, 2009, the Deda vase by Giotto Stoppino for Heller.  This green Deda was described as being in very nice condition.  There were 4 bidders and 9 bids.  The winning bid was $113.11 with $17.99 for shipping.  This Deda was sold on 4/19/2011 from eastern Pennsylvania.

Deda auction end screenshot 

eBay final bid screenshot for the Deda vase.

Green Deda vase  Green Deda vaseGreen Deda imprint

Three views of the Deda vase that sold.


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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Capitello armchair | Studio 65 | Gufram, Italy | 1971

Capitello armchair Studio 65Capitello armchair
Studio 65
Gufram, Italy, 1971
 

In Italy throughout the 1960s and 1970s, radical design groups were established in opposition to the pure functionalism of the International Style. Studio 65 was formed in Turin, Italy in 1965 by Franco Audrito and a group of young architecture and art students. Engaged from the earliest stage in social and environmental conflicts, they established theories and comprehensive approaches to architecture, design and art.

Studio 65 logoClick to be taken to the website of Studio 65.

The ironic adaptation of classical elements by Studio 65 predates the historicist designs of such 1980s postmodernists as Robert Venturi and Michael Graves in America and Hans Hollein, Ricardo Bofill, and Aldo Rossi in Europe, and it also takes note of pop art developments of the period.  The adaptation of the classical to the modern is readily apparent in the design of the Capitello armchair.

Ionic column capital

Capital.  Image source:  Wikipedia.

The Capitello armchair is constructed from polyurethane foam that has been molded into a shape approximating the uppermost architectural element of the Greek Ionic column: the capital.

Capitello armchair

The Capitello armchair.  From Studio65 by Franco Audrito, p. 52.  The Capitello, Attica and Foglie d’Acanto sofa were all “designed to desecrate the myth of classicism.”

As shown below, instead of being flat, the top part of the chair is depressed to allow for use as a seat.

Capitello armchairCapitello armchair. Image source:  Sam Kaufman Gallery via 1stdibs.

Capitello armchair

Front view of the Capitello armchair. Image source:  Sam Kaufman Gallery via 1stdibs.

Capitello armchair

Detail of the Capitello armchair.  Image source:  Sam Kaufman Gallery via 1stdibs.

The ironic humor of the Capitello armchair lies in the fact that soft, pliable modern polyurethane has been shaped as a hard, load-bearing form representative of an important symbol of ancient Greek architecture. Together, Attica and Capitello can be made to form an entire column.

Attica and Capitello column

The entire column made of Attica and Capitello chairs.  Image source.

The visual references derived from architecture and art supersede functionalism, as indeed they do in most objects designed by Studio 65 and other antidesign groups of this period, transforming furniture, jewelry, accessories, and even architecture itself into objects of fantasy. 



Attica, 1972
Image Source

Studio 65
Attica chair

 

Bocca, 1971
Image source

Studio 65

Bocca sofa




Capitello, 1971
Image Source

Studio 65

Capitello armchair


Chiocciola, 1971
Image Source: eBay

Studio 65
Chiocciola chair



Stool, ca. 1968
Image source

Studio 65
Apple stool

Heller released the Capitello design in 2004 in one piece roto molded polymer.  Heller also released Bocca the same year.Capitello armchair, Heller

Heller Capitello armchair technical data sheet

Technical Data sheet for Heller reissue of the Capitello armchair.

Contact Studio 65 at

Studio 65
via Po, 14
10023 Torino
ITALY
T +39-11-8395691  
F +39-11-8125592
info@studio65.com

Literature

Chiggio, E. (1986). Studio65, Electa, p.91.

Collins, M. (1987). Towards post modernism. Boston, Ma.: Little, Brown and Company, p. 128.

Fiell, C. and Fiell P. (1997). 1000 Chairs. Cologne, Germany: Benedict Taschen Verlag GmbH, p. 491.

Stimpson, M. (1987). Modern furniture classiccs. New York: Whitney Library of Design, p. 156.

Reference

Audrito, F. (2001). Studio65. l’Arca Edizioni, Italy, p. 52.


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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gufram I Multipli collection | Gruppo Strum, Guido Drocco, Franco Mello, Piero Gilardi, Studio 65 | Gufram, Italy | 1968 – 1976

Gufram Cactus clothes standGruppo Strum
Guido Drocco
Franco Mello

Piero Gilardi
Studio 65
Gufram, Italy, 1968 – 1976

Gufram logo

Click the logo above to be taken to the Gufram site.  Gufram is now a part of Poltrona Frau group.

Franco Mello had this to say about Gufram and I Multipli, relative to an exhibition he curated at Castello di Rivoli, “The Rock Furniture:  Design by Gufram in the years of rock.” held May 22 through September 1, 2002:

The “Multiples” series began with a collaboration with Piero Gilardi, with an emphasis on creative freedom over the functional demands imposed by production. The artist designed the first series of Sassi (Stones) in 1968. The Sassi resembled enlarged versions of simple stones, and thus became simultaneously playful and sculptural objects. Before long, the “Multiples” series expanded, giving free rein to an unrestrained sense of fantasy and creativity. In 1971 Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi and Riccardo Rosso, members of the architectural group Strum, designed the “Pratone” (Large Lawn), a well-chosen example of hypertrophic nature in the form of a rug that resembled an overgrown lawn. That same year saw the introduction of the Bocca (Mouth), a sofa-sculpture inspired by a painting by Dalì, seen by Sudio65.

Cactus was brought out in 1972, designed by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello. The desert plant, divested of thorns and presented in human proportions, was transformed into an unexpected clothes-stand. This exhibition presents these well-known pieces to a broader public, along with other lesser known or never before seen pieces, such as the Minnie, the Farfalla (Butterfly), the Mattoni (Bricks), the Tavolo Erba (Grass Table), the Detecma, and the PietraLuce (StoneLight), objects whose radical visionary nature has remained unchanged.

Having collaborated with Gufram in the Seventies, I have a view of this history and that moment that is both extremely vivid and chaotic. The succession of events, facts that today are of historic importance, was in reality extremely rapid and did not allow for distractions. Often an object began with extremely beautiful but rough drawings. It was like working with clay or writing a song: the piece emerged bit by bit. First came the idea. The seduction, first of all. And the market reacted in surprising fashion.

Below are pictured the key objects that are part of the I Multipli collection.  The Capitello and some of the other expanded polyurethane objects by Gufram will be showcased in future posts.

 

Bocca, 1971
Image source

Studio 65

Bocca sofa

 

Cactus, 1972
Image Source

Guido Drocco
Franco Mello

Cactus clothes stand

 

Massolo, 1974
Image source

Piero Gilardi

Massolo table

 

Pavé Piuma, 1967
Image source

Piero Gilardi

Pave Piuma floor covering

Pratone, 1971
Image source

Gruppo Strum
Giorgio Ceretti
Piero Derossi
Ricardo Rosso

Pratone chair

Puffo, 1970
Image source

Gruppo Strum
Giorgio Ceretti
Piero Derossi
Ricardo Rosso

Puffo stool

 

Sassi, 1968
Image source

Piero Gilardi

Sassi seats

Torneraj, 1968
Image source

Gruppo Strum
Giorgio Ceretti
Piero Derossi
Ricardo Rosso

Torneraj chair

Three of the above objects were shown at the exhibition “Italy: the New Domestic Landscape” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Pratone, Sassi, and Torneraj.  Pratone is featured as one of the four movable cutouts that reside in the cellophane that serves as the cover for the exhibition catalog.


Sassi p. 99 (color) Piero Gilardi

I Sassi (‘The Rocks’) set of seats.  1967 (1968)

Polyurethane, varying sizes, largest 17 3/4x23 5/8 inches diameter (45x60 cm), smaller 9 7/8x13 3/4 inches (25x35 cm) and 7 7/8x5 7/8 inches

(20x15 cm)

Gufram. Gift of the manufacturer


Pratone p. 101 (color) Gruppo Strum (Giorgio Ceretti, Piero Derossi, Riccardo Rosso)

Pratone (‘Big Meadow’) mat. 1970 (1971)

Polyurethane, 37 3/8x57 1/2 inches (95x145x136 cm)

Gufram. Gift of the manufacturer


Torneraj  p. 103 (black and white) Giorgio Ceretti, Piero Derossi, Riccardo Rosso

Torneraj (‘You’ll Come Back’) armchair. 1969 (1969)

Polyurethane, 35 1/2x35 1/2x35 1/2 inches (90x90x90 cm)

Gufram. Gift of the manufacturer


Gufram from L'Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 – 1973

From L’Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 – 1973, p.103:  Gufram items.  From top to bottom, the Cactus clothes rack, Capitello armchair, Massolo table, and Sassi seats.  These were re-editioned by Gufram in 1986:  Cactus (2,000), Capitello (500), Massolo (500), Sassi (2,000).

References

Ambasz, E., ed. (1972). Italy: The new domestic landscape:  Achievements and problems of Italian design. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, NY, p. 99, 101 and 103.

Philippe Decelle & Diane Hennebert & Pierre Loze, L’Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 – 1973, Edition Fondation pour l'architecture, 1994, p. 102-103.

Mello, F., Retrieved March 8, 2011 from http://www.castellodirivoli.org/eng/homepage/Mostre/Frame/pagine/Archivio/Scritti/Gufram.htm

Retrieved February 27, 2011 from Poltrona Frau. http://www.poltronafrau.com/portal/page/portal/UI/webpages/groupsite/brands/sheet?p=brand:gufram&lang=en

Retrieved March 6, 2011 from Wright.  http://www.wright20.com/auctions/view/FJOJ/F5XX/862/LA/none/ERG7/0

Retrieved March 6, 2011 from Wright.  http://www.wright20.com/auctions/view/F5AR/F9AX/576/LA/none/GDQF/0


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Friday, April 15, 2011

Cactus clothes stand | Guido Drocco and Franco Mello | Gufram, Italy | 1972

Gufram Cactus clothes standGuido Drocco
Franco Mello
Gufram, Italy, 1972

Guido Drocco was born in San Benedetto Belbo, Cuneo, Italy on September 19, 1942. He graduated in Architecture at the Polytechnic of Turin (Politecnico di Torino). He performs professional work in the field of Architecture and Industrial Design and is active in Turin. Since 1996 he has been a lecturer in Architectural Design at the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic of Turin.

Franco Mello was born in Genoa in 1945. He lives and works in Turin and Spineto Scrivia. Mello works in design, packaging, graphic design, publishing and art. In 2004, he created the “DOG Design” collection. He has edited books on art and designed catalogues and posters for numerous artists from Arte Povera to the Transavangarde, including Piero Manzoni, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Peone, Alberto Burri, Yves Klein, Bridget Riley and Pinot Gallizio. He teaches “Industrial Design for Visual Communication” at the Polytechnic of Turin.

What was eventually to become Gufram was born at the beginning of the 1900s as an artisan company specializing in chair manufacture.  Between 1952 and 1966, the company transformed its production from classic to modern, culminating in a name change to Gufram in 1966.  Open to collaboration with artists, architects and designers, Gufram became a cultural and successful commercial enterprise.

Since 1978, Gufram has been operating successfully in the Contract sector, designing seats for cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, conference halls, multipurpose halls, hotels and university lecture rooms, with a significant range of products strongly characterized by Italian design. The fundamental elements of the Gufram philosophy are research, innovation, quality and design.

Gufram logo

Click the logo above to be taken to the Gufram site.  Gufram is now a part of Poltrona Frau group.

Turin must have been an interesting place in the late 60s.  First off, it was the late 60s, but beyond that, Turin is home to large scale manufacturing.  Working class sensibilities applied to artists, architects, and designers gave rise to antidesign.

So to the point of this post: what a friendly Saguaro!  The Gufram Cactus is part of a set of design icons created by Gufram in the late 1960s and early 1970s known as the I Multipli Collection. The I Multipli Collection features objects produced in a polyurethane self-hardening foam with a patented lacquered finish called Guflac.  The collection is featured in many of the finest museums and contemporary art collections of today, including

The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Pompidou de Paris
Vitra Design, Germany
La Triennale, Milan
Tate, London
Musée des Arts Dècoratifs, Paris

In 1986, Gufram reissued the Cactus clothes rack in an edition of 2,000. It was released in white in 2007.  Recently, it has been released in red and black.  Expect to pay about $3,000 for your Cactus if you buy one new. The Cactus weighs in at 18kg, just under 40 pounds.

Gufram Cactus clothes stand

Green and white Cactus clothes stand.  Image source:  Modern Design Interiors.

Gufram Cactus clothes stand

Detailed view of the urethane foam of the Cactus clothes stand painted green with Guflac.  Image source:  Deconet.com.Gufram Cactus clothes stand

Black and red Cactus clothes stand.  Image source:  Cooperative Design.

Schematic of Gufram Cactus

Schematic of Gufram Cactus.  Image source:  Gufram.

Sotheby's Cactus clothes stand

Image source:  Sotheby’s / Architonic.

Sotheby’s sold the above Cactus rack in its December 12, 2003 “Important 20th Century Design” auction in New York.  The early, rare brown-flocked Cactus coat racks were made exclusively for Stendig and distributed to the American market.  Measures 65” (165.1 cm) tall.  Estimated at $6,000 to 8,000.

Gufram miniatures

Gufram miniatures.  Image source:  Wright Auctions.

Lot 862 at the Wright “Modern Design + Utopia: Lost and Found” sale of March 30 – April 1, 2008.  Estimated at $1,000 to $1,500, sold for $3,360. Made of injection-molded polyurethane, Guflac.  Size 6.75” wide by 7.25” deep by 7” tall.  The lot included three models, from left to right:  Cactus, Torneraj, Detecma.

Literature

Albrecht Bangert, Italienisches Möbeldesign: Klassiker von 1945 bis 1985, Munich, 1985, p. 100

Nina Börnsen-Holtmann, Italian Design, Cologne, 1994, p. 91

Philippe Decelle, Diane Hennebert, Pierre Loze, L'Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 - 1973, 1994, pp. 102-103.

Cara Greenberg, Op to Pop: Furniture of the 1960s, Boston, 1999, pp. 25 and 28

References

Ambasz, E., ed. (1972). Italy: The new domestic landscape:  Achievements and problems of Italian design. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, NY, p. 99, 101 and 103.

Mello, F., Retrieved March 8, 2011 from http://www.castellodirivoli.org/eng/homepage/Mostre/Frame/pagine/Archivio/Scritti/Gufram.htm

Retrieved February 27, 2011 from Poltrona Frau. http://www.poltronafrau.com/portal/page/portal/UI/webpages/groupsite/brands/sheet?p=brand:gufram&lang=en

Retrieved February 27, 2011 from Architonic. http://www.architonic.com/dcgal/cactus-coat-rack-sotheby-s/4103472

Retrieved March 6, 2011 from Wright.  http://www.wright20.com/auctions/view/FJOJ/F5XX/862/LA/none/ERG7/0

“Outdoor design dal 1870”, by Franco Mello and Pier Paolo Peruccio Electa Ferrino celebrates its 140th anniversary with a book. (2010, June 8). Retrieved February 27, 2011 from http://www.ferrino.it/en/homepage/press/275


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Friday, April 8, 2011

Lumitime clock | Various designers | Tamura Electric Corp., Japan | ca. 1970 | UPDATE

LumitimeVarious designers
Tamura Electric Corp., Japan, ca. 1970

An update to my post of March 23, 2009, specifically the C-101 Lumitime clock. I haven’t come across this model before but it is slick!  All pictures in this post from eBay, user pinktimemachine.

Lumitime C-101 clockThe Lumitime C-101 clock.

Lumitime C-101 starburstCloseup of Lumitime starburst second counter.

Lumitime C-101 labelBottom of Lumitime C-101 clock showing label.

The Lumitime C-101 measures 10 7/8 inches by 4 1/4 inches by 3 1/8 inches and is made in black and brushed aluminum. Features a Hi-Lo dimmer switch on the rear.  This Lumitime had some condition issues.  Offered twice at $129.99 but there weren’t any takers. 

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Christy sugar bowl | Christopher Dresser | Alessi, Italy | 1993

after: Model No. 247 Christopher Dresser Elkington & Co., United Kingdom ca. 1885

Christopher Dresser Christy bowl Christopher Dresser 
Elkington & Co.
United Kingdom, ca. 1885

I always thought maybe I’d have a shot at the original sugar bowl by Christopher Dresser that served as the model for Alessi, the Model No. 247 for Elkington & Co.  Here is my original post from February 2, 2009.

Lyon & Turnbull logo

At the April 19, 2005 Decorative Arts including Christopher Dresser auction offered by Lyon & Turnbull, the “Conical sugar bowl” was offered as Lot 48.  The bowl exhibits stamped marks ‘Elkington & Co. 247’, and registration mark for 1885 and is 8.5cm high.  Estimated at £7,000 – 9,000 ($11,000 – $14,000), there were 17 bids and a hammer price of £22,000 ($35,000).  Whew, that’s a lot for a sugar bowl.Christopher Dresser No. 247 sugar bowl

The pared down lines of the sugar bowl give it a particularly ‘modern’ look. An exaggerated drawing of this bowl appears in Dresser’s Principles of Design, which appears to base the design on Egyptianesque forms. For the entire book, click here.

Christopher Dresser Principles of Design Fig. 149

Christopher Dresser Principles of Design Fig. 150Dresser outlines the process by which he arrives at the design:

Having determined on the best mode of working the material, consider carefully the requirements which the work to be produced is intended to meet, and then strive to form the object so that it may perfectly answer the end proposed by its creation.

Let us take a sugar-basin. What form should it have? After much consideration, I have arrived at the conclusion that the two shapes engraved in Figs. 149 and 150 are those which best fulfil the requirements of such a vessel, for in them the sugar is always collected together, and the dust sugar separates itself from the lumps. The handles of a sugar-basin are often so small as to be partially or wholly useless. It not unfrequently happens that only one or two fingers can rest on the handle, owing to its smallness, while the thumb has to be placed within the orifice of the basin when it is desired to move it. This should not be so;. if a handle is to exist at all, it should be so formed as to be useful, and afford a means of moving the object with ease and comfort.

To form a handle as a mere ornament is an absurdity, for the handle is part of the vessel structurally, while the ornamentation is an after and separate consideration. In order to its existence a vessel must be constructed, but when formed it need not of necessity be ornamented; ornamentation must ever be regarded as separate from construction.

Such a sugar-basin as I have suggested would not stand without legs: it must therefore have them; but I sec no reason why the legs and handles should not be combined; hence I propose three feet so formed as to serve as handles throughout their upper parts (Figs. 149, 150), they being convenient to hold.

Modern European silversmiths have fallen into the error (an error now prevailing wherever art can be applied to any object) of making their works of a pictorial, rather than an ornamental, character—an error which the Arabians, Indians, and Japanese never perpetrate, whose works in metal are unsurpassed by any, and equalled by indeed few. It is a mistake to cover an entire vase with figures in high relief; but wherever anything of the kind is attempted, care must be exercised in. causing the groups to follow the line of the vase, and not to appear as irregular projections from it. As to the modes of decorating works in silver and in gold, they are many; of ornamentation by repousse work we have already spoken, and of chasing and engraving. But besides these there are other methods, and some of great interest, for there is damascene work, or inlaying; and applying colour, or enamelling; and niello work; jewels may also be added.

Damascene work is of great interest. Metal of one colour is inlaid into metal of another colour. India produces, perhaps, the rarest examples of this kind of work, the Indians being experts at this manufacture; but the Indian work consists chiefly of silver inlaid in iron. This mode of work seems to be capable of producing many beautiful effects, as all who have examined the large inlaid hookahs of India will admit.

Having chosen a form for a vessel, the next question with which we have to deal is, will it require a handle and spout? It is curious that while the position of a spout and handle in relation to a vessel is governed by a simple natural law, we yet rarely find them placed as they should be. This is the more curious, as a vessel may become practically of great weight, owing to the handle being misplaced.

A pound weight is easily lifted, but when applied to the shorter end of the steel-yard it will balance a hundredweight. If this principle is applied to a tea-pot which actually weighs but little, it may yet be very heavy to lift. In nineteen cases out of twenty, handles are so placed on tea-pots and similar vessels that they are in use lifted only by a force capable of raising two or three such vessels, if the principle of the steel-yard was not acting against the person who uses the vessel. Take our ordinary forms of tea-pot, and see how far the centre of the weight (the centre of gravity) is from the handle in a horizontal direction, and you will be able to judge of the leverage acting disadvantageously to the person who may pour tea from such pots. Now if the part which is grasped is to the right or left of a right line passing through the centre of gravity of any vessel, there is leverage acting to the disadvantage of the person desiring to pour from that vessel, and this leverage increases just as the point held is removed from the central line spoken of.

Selected Bibliography

Christopher Dresser, Principles of Decorative Design, Cassell, Petter and Galpin, London, 1873, pp. 138-139

Michael Whiteway, Christopher Dresser 1834-1904, Skira Editore S.p.A., Milan, 2001, plate 203

Charlotte & Peter Fiell, Design of the 20th Century, p. 220.

Christopher Dresser. An Exhibition arranged by Richard Dennis and John Jesse. London: The Fine Art Society, 1972. Compare catalogue number 26.

Reference

Lyon & Trumbull. (2005, April 19). Decorative arts including Christopher Dresser [Lot 48]. Retrieved from http://www.lyonandturnbull.com/asp/fullCatalogue.asp?salelot=115+++++++48+&refno=+++54351


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