This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal.… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE INGO MAURER STUDIO


'Porca Miseria! Chinese Love', first conceived 1994, this version executed 2017
produced by Ingo Maurer GmbH, Munich, Germany, from the production of 2, steel mesh, steel, glazed porcelain and hand painted porcelain figures, painted wood chopsticks
47 ¼ high x 32 in. diameter (120 x 81.5 cm.)
one porcelain dish signed in marker Ingo Maurer 2017
Ingo Maurer: Yes! This is a catalogue, Munich, 2018, pp. 384-85 another example illustrated.
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 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: 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.

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Lot Essay

The inspiration for Maurer’s initial Porca Miseria! came from 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’ 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.

Due to its complexity and the handmade nature of its construction, each supervised during the design and production process by Ingo, the Porca Miseria! has only ever been produced on a commission basis by special order. Its appearance is the result of both accident and design, and its vibrant appeal disguises the laborious nature of fabrication. Around three to five examples are made each year on commission only by Ingo Maurer GmbH, each custom-made and unique, using a team of around four people over the course of several months. Initially the plates are fragmented – either with a hammer or by being dropped on the floor - and the arbitrary nature of the results guide the subsequent creation. Some fragments can be incorporated onto an armature directly, others require further shaping and smoothing as the overall form takes shape.

In the years since Maurer revisited this celebrated design and altered its impact by adding chopsticks and a number of porcelain figures captured in various erotic poses. The controlled disorder of the design, solidifying fleeting spontaneity, is now given an additional impact by the half-glimpsed Bacchic poses of the cavorting nudes, which only add to its’ playful power.

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