Artist/Designer: Ettore Sottsass
b. 1917 Innsbruck, Austria - 2007 Milan, Italy
Title: Ashoka Lamp 1981
Medium: Enameled metal, chromed metal, halogen bulb, incandescent bulbs.
Dimensions: 36"h x 34.5" x 5.6"
Details: This example travelled with the Memphis exhibition to most venues from Memphis, Tennessee to the Cooper Hewitt in New York City. It was also displayed in the Grace Designs showroom and has remained in our founders collection. It is in truly remarkable condition despite its travels over the last thirty-plus years. Some minor knicks or scratches and it has a bit of forward/backward motion as it has from the beginning, due to the way the various metal parts are stacked up. Original electrical parts are intact. Lights currently work intermittently, although we have all the original specifications and details if repair is requested. Currently have kept the lamp in original condition. Stamped with number 13 on metal tag on bottom of lamp. Ashoka is included in numerous international museum collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Notes from the Archive: The Ashoka illustrates Ettore Sottsass' eagerness to play with the conventions of lighting. He foregoes the lampshade entirely and puts the bulbs out on display, like carnival lighting. Below is an image of the original drawing for the lamp clearly highlighting Sottsass' totemic design language, both symbolic and anthropomorphic. An exuberant and unapologetic masterwork. One of our longtime favorites and a true museum example.
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