Tapio Wirkkala for Idman Pair of Table Lamps in Petrol Blue Metal and Steel
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Tapio Wirkkala for Idman, table lamps, metal, steel, Finland, 1960s.
Pair of table lamps designed by the Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala for Idman in 1960. These lamps feature a cylindrical metal base painted in a bright petrol blue color. A polished steel arm with a horizontal cylindrical foot supports the base, creating a fascinating unity in color and combination of materials. Above the base, a triangular neck is installed underlining the round shape of the light bulb. The silver color of the half chrome light bulb complements nicely with the steel support and strenghtens the unity of the design. Overall, a modest yet elegant pair of table lamps that represents Wirkkala's design approach in every way.
One of Finland's leading designers was Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) who made a great contribution to Scandinavian mid-century modern design of the 20th century. Born and raised in Helsinki, Wirkkala started his education at the National School of Applied Arts in the capital. Afterwards, he began his career in graphic design. At the age of twenty-five, the outbreak of the Second World War started and Wirkkala soon served the Finnish army. As the war ended in 1945, Wirkkala continued his work as a designer by joining the glass manufacturer ‘Iittala’, where he worked on numerous designs till the end of his life. Wirkkala's approach to design was highly innovative and ranged from furniture, porcelain, glass, jewelry and tableware. His talent excelled in combining organic forms into industrial manufactured designs. A striking example are his inlaid coffee tables that he designed for Asko. For this, he used laminated sheets of plywood sanded to a smooth surface that resembles an abstract leaf. It represents the main approach in his designs; a sculptural and elegant modern exterior that blends perfectly with simplicity and functionality.
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