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Three Reissued Modernist Lamps

Celebrated mid-century designers' once forgotten luminaires brought back to life

by CH Contributor in Design on 02 May 2013

by Adam Štěch

As the year rolls forward many furniture and lightning brands continue to show an interest in reissuing historical design artifacts of decades past. Large or small, most producers comprising the design market now present some form of forgotten or previously discontinued elements of design. To offer an a bit of insight into this process, the following three reissued luminaire designs explore hidden chapters of European modernism from the 1950s and '60s.

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Turbo by Louis Weisdorf for Gubi

Denmark's family-run Gubi has been interested in hidden historical modernist icons for a long time. Some years ago, creative director and owner of the company Jacob Gubi presented a wide collection of original reissues, including works by lesser known names of mid-century modernism. Thanks to Gubi, designs by the "grand dame" of Californian modernism Greta Magnusson Grossman and French decorators Mathieu Mategot and Jacques Adnet, among others, are in production again.

This year, Gubi continues to uncover gems from the modernist period with the release of the Turbo hanging lamp, designed in 1965 by Danish architect and designer Louis Weisdorf. Weisdorf was always interested in designing lamps made out of simple, yet complex and often abstract steel structures. Turbo, now available from Gubi, is a prime example of his work.

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Mantis by Bernard Schottlander for Lampe Gras

Although mainly a sculptor, in 1951 Bernard Schottlander designed a series of steel lamps called Mantis. Influenced by the mid-century abstract sculpture by Alexander Calder and Henry Moore, German-born and UK-based Schottlander created the subtle series of lamps in the style of Serge Mouille and Gino Sarfatti. French company DCW éditions stands behind the reissue of the famous Lampe Gras, which premiered in various reissued forms including the Mantis floor, table and wall lamp at Milan's Salone del Mobile last month. The main feature of Shottlander's Lampe Gras is the refined movement system that allows the user to move the lamp in any direction—a telling sign of Shottlander's engineering prowess.

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Michel Buffet for Editions Serge Mouille

Many lamps by French industrial designer Michel Buffet have become legendary in the circles of mid-century design collectors today. After his study of design in the early 1950s, Buffet decided to create a very limited, hand-crafted collection of lamps in collaboration with Jacques Biny and his label Luminalite. Only a few examples of each model were ever produced. From there, Buffet devoted his work to industrial design, working on a range of elaborate projects spanning underground trains in Paris and Caracas to the Concorde airplane interior. However limited they may be, Buffet's lamps were re-discovered by Didier Delpiroux of Serge Mouille, which produces authentic replicas of Mouille's famous lightning. Here Delpiroux produces reissues of Buffet's four models—a floor, wall lamp and two table lamps. All the designs highlight an elegant and organic minimalism of the steel rods and sheets. These reissues are now available from Uber Modern online.

Images courtesy of their respective brands

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