Let There Be Light! Loewe Curates a Group Show of Lamps

To celebrate Milan Design Week, the luxury brand launched "Loewe Lamps," an invigorating group show of form, function, and illumination.

An installation view of "Loewe Lamps." Courtesy of Loewe.

It’s clear that the yearly Loewe Craft Prize isn’t just a PR stunt or marketing ploy. It’s a vital component of what the brand has become under creative director Jonathan Anderson and his true passion project. It adds a “creative lab” facet to Loewe that’s invigorating and sets it apart. Each year, the constellation of functional, crowdsourced works gets larger and more impressive—a gallery-worthy selection. This scrupulous above-and-beyond aesthetic rigor and creative wanderlust set the stage for an invigorating Milan Design Week presentation. If an exhibition of lamps doesn’t sound like an exciting prospect, think again.

intricate multicolored sculptural lamps, one rounded the other jagged

Andile Dyalvane and Shohei Yokohama’s colorful hanging lamps. Courtesy of Loewe.

Twenty-four artists have contributed to “Loewe Lamps” (including previous winners and finalists for the Craft Prize). It’s an illuminating journey into creativity. Set in the impressive industrial subterranea of the Palozzo Citerrio sub-basement, there are some breathtaking fixtures. The selection veers from globular to glitzy, stark to serene, and abstract to goofy. Some wielded bamboo and horsehair. Others opted for more traditional high-tech hardware elements.

a modern silver metal lamp is on a grey background

Alvaro Barrinton’s lamp. Courtesy of Loewe.

The vibes can also shift greatly. Akiko Hirai’s serenely rhapsodic and weathered metal canister holds askew birch twigs. At first glance, Magali Reus’s lamp is hard to pinpoint because of the tweaked scale, but it is like a giant cigarette lighter embedded in a rock formation. Both are compelling and intriguing propositions.

one lamp looks like a rusted canister with twigs the other lamp looks like a cigarette lighter embedded in rock

Akiko Hirai and Magali Reus took wildly different but fulfilling creative paths for their lamps. Courtesy of Loewe.

Besides light, the throughline connecting all of these disparate objects seems to be that each maker took the assignment memo to make something functional, before departing on a stratospheric flight of fancy. This is the first time many of these artists have made lamps, and it shows—not because of the lack of skill, but the delicious and zealous disregard for orthodoxy. The end result is more about the unknown and unexpected than the functional.

Anthea Hamilton's impressive floor lamp. Courtesy of Loewe.

Anthea Hamilton’s impressive floor lamp. Courtesy of Loewe.

The full list of participating artists is as follows: Alvaro Barrington (Venezuela), Nicholas Byrne (U.K.), Enrico David (Italy), Andile Dyalvane (South Africa), Ernst Gamperl (Germany), Kazunori Hamana (Japan), Anthea Hamilton (U.K.), Akiko Hirai (Japan), Joe Hogan (Ireland), Ann Van Hoey (Belgium), Genta Ishizuka (Japan), Dahye Jeong (South Korea), Takuro Kuwata (Japan), Jennifer Lee (U.K.), Young Soon Lee (South Korea), Anne Low (Canada), Hafu Matsumoto (Japan), Magdalene Odundo (Kenya), Zizipho Poswa (South Africa), Magali Reus (Netherlands), Chikuunsai Tanabe IV (Japan), Andrea Walsh (U.K.), Cerith Wyn Evans (U.K.) and Shohei Yokoyama (Japan).

many intricate artistic sculptural lamps are set against a dark background

An installation view of “Loewe Lamps.” Courtesy of Loewe.

Along with the lamps, Loewe has a selection of limited-edition Milan Design Week housewares such as vases, doorstops, and paperweights. All of these items are available exclusively at Palazzo Citterio and Loewe’s Montenapoleone store until April 21.

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