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INGO MAURER (B. 1932)
INGO MAURER (B. 1932)
INGO MAURER (B. 1932)
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INGO MAURER (B. 1932)
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This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal.… Read more
INGO MAURER (B. 1932)

Porca Miseria! [What a Disaster!], A Ceiling Light

Details
INGO MAURER (B. 1932)
Porca Miseria! [What a Disaster!], A Ceiling Light
executed by Ingo Maurer GmbH, steel wire, fragmented white porcelain, cutlery
46 ½ high x 41 ¼ in. wide (117.5 x 105 cm.)

Designed 1994, this example executed circa 2001.

Other examples of this model are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Waddesdon Manor, United Kingdom.
Provenance
Private Collection, Germany (acquired circa 2001).
Literature
Other examples of this model illustrated:
A. von Vegesack (ed.), Ingo Maurer: Light - Reaching for the moon, exh. cat., Weil am Rhein, Vitra Design Museum, 2004, p. 56.
K. Hastreiter (ed.), Provoking Magic: Lighting of Ingo Maurer, exh. cat., New York, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2007-2008, p. 152.
B. Dessecker (ed.), Ingo Maurer Gestalten mit Licht, Munich 2008, pp. 167-168.
Special notice

This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.

Brought to you by

Jeremy Morrison
Jeremy Morrison

Lot Essay

Over the last 60 years Ingo Maurer has built an international reputation for constant innovation in lighting and lighting installations. After a brief foray in the United States in the early 1960s, Maurer returned to his native Germany and his first design, ‘Bulb’ (1966), immediately won recognition as part of the Pop Art movement in its playful exploration of the expressive potential of an object from everyday life. Since then he has exhibited internationally with solo-shows at the Fondation Cartier, Paris (1989); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1993); Museum SantaMòniCA, Barcelona (2001); Vitra Design Museum, Weil, Germany (2002/03); Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York (2007) and Fondazione Carsipe, La Spezia, Italy (2008).

The inspiration for Maurer’s seminal Porca Miseria! was a 1990 commission for light sculptures for the owners of the Villa Wacker on
Lake Constance, a late 19th century building including interiors by Peter Behrens, one of the leading German Jugendstil designers. Faced with the owners’ cool and sober contemporary kitchen Maurer initially experimented with paper-based lighting but came upon the inspiration of broken white tableware seemingly in mid-explosion. The resultant interplay of light and shadow, of motion and dynamism, and its uncontrolled energy was heightened by its context within the sparse, ordered interior. Around four years later, in 1994, Maurer developed the unnamed lamp further into a more complex version, which he revealed at the Euroluce international lighting exhibition in Milan. Initially the design was called ‘Zabriskie Point’, after the 1970 film of that title by Michelangelo Antonioni which shows a building being blown up in slow motion in an extended sequence. However, when one Italian visitor saw the exploded shards and cutlery he commented “Porca Miseria!” (a colloquial phrase meaning “what a disaster!”) and a delighted Maurer
adopted this name.

Its appearance is the result of both accident and design, and its vibrant appeal disguises the laborious nature of fabrication. Each is custom - made on commission and unique. Initially the plates are broken – either with a hammer or by being dropped on the floor – and the arbitrary nature of the results are guides to the subsequent creation. Some fragments can be incorporated onto an armature directly, others require further shaping and smoothing as the overall form takes shape. The controlled disorder of the design, solidifying fleeting spontaneity, is one of Maurer’s most celebrated designs.

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