Mark McMenamin -- Interior Design, 3/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Ingo Maurer first saw the light of day in Germany the year after Thomas Edison died in New Jersey. But the two are forever bonded by a singular obsession, the stark beauty of the naked lightbulb: Maurer's 1966 breakthrough, Bulb, was a pop art homage to what he calls the "perfect union of technology and poetry." As he celebrates his 75th birthday in 2007, he regards that particular fixture as the starting point of an aesthetic evolution that has established him as one of lighting's most accomplished designers.
Maurer's latest efforts find him tapping new mediums, including the Corian found in the base of the laboratory-worthy Delirium Yum table lamp; blending fluorescent and halogen sources, as with the Wafer pendant fixture; and exploring constellations of LEDs, as in 1,001 Lights. He also shows a newfound taste for color, most notably in the swirling plastic spectrum of his Threesome pendant fixture. Still, even in his Hot.Hot halogen table lamp, there remains a sense of whimsy that harks back to his earliest work.
At 75, you'd think he'd be ready for mai tai afternoons in the cabana, not late nights at his Munich studio. You'd be wrong. As he believes another prolific septuagenarian, Clint Eastwood, to have proclaimed, "I don't let the old man get in. I feel young and ready for adventures." Maurer's next big exploit is the four-decade retrospective "Provoking Magic: Lighting of Ingo Maurer," arriving September 14 at New York's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
89 Grand Street, New York, NY10013; 212-965-8817; ingo-maurer.com. circle 352