Nordic Light

Nordic Light
Scandinavian 20th-century lighting
Summer 2014

Jacksons is pleased to announce our new exhibition "Nordic Light". Stark seasonal contrasts in combination with a scarcity of natural light in the Nordic countries created a unique atmosphere for developing some of the most innovative lamp design of the 20th-century.

Obsessed with the ethereal quality of the summer night and its seductive power so distinct to the North, Nordic painters in the late nineteenth-century were on a quest to carve out a geographic identity at the far reaches of Europe. By the 1920s, early masters of modern architecture began to explore a vision of reality similar to their plein-air predecessors. Elaborating on ideas concerning translucence and reflection, these architects and designers controlled and utilized natural light as an animated resource in a way that reinforced an intimate contact with nature.

One of the many designers featured in the exhibition is Poul Henningsen, arguably the world's first lighting architect. Also featured are iconic designs by Alvar Aalto, Gunnar Asplund, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Pavo Tynell, Tapio Wirkkala, Greta Magnusson Grossman, and Yrjo Kukkapuro.

Exhibition View
Exhibition View
No. 4248: Poul Henningsen's "Septima" Lamp from the 1930's, produced by Louis Poulsen, features wood moulded and acid etched glass shades with nickel-plated brass. Throughout his lifetime, Henningsen denounced what he viewed as artistic pretension in Scandinavian design and urged for a more utilitarian approach to accommodate good design for all. At the time of his death, he left over 100 lighting designs, some of which were issued posthumously.
No. 8667: Poul Henningsen's Star Chandelier made between 1931 and 1937, produced by Louis Poulsen, is a six-shaded lamp with 2/2 brown amber glass shades. Fitting in bronze patinated metal and stamped PH-2 patented.
Exhibition View
No. 8939: Yrjö Kukkapuro's 100A Reflector Lamp, produced by Haimi, was designed in 1968 for the Milan Triennial in small edition. As a central figure in Finnish functionalist, Kukkapuro's furniture designs were intended to complement the architecture of the building without dominating it.
Exhibition View
No. 9023: Aage Rafn's Ceiling Lamp, produced by Lauritz Rasmussen, was exhibited in the Danish Pavillion at the Paris World Fair 1925. It has a white single layer glass with gloss interior, matted exterior, and bronze fitment. As a supporter of Neoclassicism, Rafn ran his own design studio from 1916 until his death.
Exhibition View
No. 5896: Henningsen's "Light of the Future" Ceiling Lamp, produced by Louis Poulsen, was designed in 1959 for "The House of the Day after Tomorrow" exhibition. It is reminiscent of the Artichoke Lamp in the Langelinie Pavilion. The lighting engineering is based on the color concept, that the red end of the light spectrum reproduced texture better than the colder color rays. Only about 15 lamps made in total.
Exhibition View
No. 8988: Simon Henningsen's Ceiling Lamp "Casablanca" from the 1960s, manufactured by Lyfa. Square chromium-plated steel, lacquered interior. Simon Henningsen was the son of Else Strøyberg and Poul Henningsen. In 1948 he assumed his father‘s position as an architect for the amusement park Tivoli in Copenhagen.
No. 8792, Lisa Johansson Pape Floor Lamp from the 1940's was manufactured by Orno.
Exhibition View
No. 8854: PH Table Lamp from 1927 produced by Louis Poulsen. This is an early example, stamped PAT APPL. Painted copper shades with bronze base.
No. 5932: Pair of Paavo Tynell Ceiling Lamps from the 1950's, with original white painted brass shades, brass counterweight with diffuser underneath, and adjustable height. Tynell's manufacturing company, Taito Oy, was the first industrial producer of lighting fixtures in Finland. Also known as "the man who illuminated Finland", Tynell collaborated with some of the most celebrated Finnish architects of his time, such as Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen, working together to incorporate electric lighting into their modern environments.