Serge Mouille - Design New York Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Delorenzo 1950, New York

  • Literature

    Alan and Christine Counord, Serge Mouille, Luminaires, 1953-1962, Paris, 1983, p. 45; Anthony Delorenzo, ed., Jean Prouvé/Serge Mouille, New York, 1985, front cover and pp. 90, 150, 161 and 169; Pierre Émile Pralus, Serge Mouille a French Classic, Saint Cyr au Mont d’Or, 2006, pp.  220 and 224

  • Catalogue Essay

    A recurrent bout with tuberculosis in 1959 forced Serge Mouille into alpine convalescence. The interruption lasted two years. When he returned to work, gone were the kinetic lamps of the previous decade: the shell shucks and batted eyes, the rotations of Saturn. As Mouille slowed so did his forms. “What humor in all his work, what gaity!” wrote Jean Prouvé, fellow metal master. But the mood changed. Mouille’s insect articulations, alert on spindle legs, walked away. Youthful flirtations matured—no more swinging sconces. In their place reined "Les Colonnes," geometric floor lamps first exhibited in 1962 at the Salon des Arts Ménagers. The statuesque "Très Grand Signal," last and largest of the series, comprises a fluorescent tube and an incandescent bulb caged in brushed aluminum. (In 1964 Mouille stopped all production of his lamps.) "Colonne" translates variously as column, spine, or tower. Regardless the precise definition, the name implies solid support (stolid too) and resolution in light of life’s frailties. Mouille overthrew the fitful arabesques of nature, his earlier flames and corollas, with the blunt certainty of architecture. "Très Grand Signal" rises like a skyscraper—or a cenotaph.

30

Rare and important “Très Grand Signal” floor lamp

ca. 1963
Aluminum, painted iron. 
79 1/2 in. (201.9 cm.) high
Manufactured by Ateliers Serge Mouille, France.

Estimate
$100,000 - 120,000 

Design

17 Dec 2008 2pm
New York