Tito Agnoli for O-Luce Pair of Table Lamps in Black and White Perspex
Tito Agnoli for O-luce, pair of desk lamps, model 267, Perspex, brass, coated steel, Italy, 1960
Italian designer Tito Agnoli designed this table lamp, model 267, in 1960 for O-Luce. This extremely rare lighting object is comprised of a round white lamp shade in white Perspex that is surrounded by a black Perspex diffuser that can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing the user to soften the light. The off-white coated steel base features a round shape, harmoniously unifying this remarkable lamp. The use of perspex for lighting was quite new in the 1950s. Giuseppe Ostuni, the founder of O-Luce, was an enthousiast of technical innovation and believed in the potential of perspex. As a material, it has a lower weight than glass, its unbreakable and most of all the simple formability is a great benefit. In 1954, Ostuni and Agnoli won the 'Segnalazione D'Onore' for the most innovative design at a design contest in Milan initiated by Gio Ponti and Alberto Rosselli. They won this price for the '441' perspex pendant designed by Agnoli.
Tito Agnoli (1931-2012), whose full name is Giovanni Battista Agnoli, is considered one of the most important Italian designers of modern lighting. Agnoli was born in 1931 in Lima, two years after his parents emigrated to Peru in 1929 due to the political situation in Italy where Mussolini's fascistic regime was on the rise. After WWII, Agnoli came to Milan in 1947 and started to take art lessons and enrolled into the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. The mid-century tendency in the art world, with surrealism and abstract expressionism thriving, didn't suit Agnoli's realism. A year later he began to study engineering and architecture at the Milan Polytechnic. During his career, Agnoli worked as an assistant for Gio Ponti and Carlo De Carli. From the fifties onwards, Tito Agnoli, who was still very young, created a series of ambitious creative design projects for O-Luce, Arflex, Poltrona Frau, Matteo Grassi, etc. He has been nominated for the Compasso d’Oro several times during his career. Nowadays, some of his designs are part of the permanent collection of the MoMA in New York.
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