Object for Spiritual Use

The present lot is a reinterpretation of Marianne Brandt’s iconic Bauhaus lamp. Mendini created two interpretations in the 1970s when he was the editor at Casabella magazine. The first version, Letargo, functions as a lamp but is enlarged and heavy and rigid. The present lamp is the second version, Lampada senza luce (Lamp without light), and features no light source, only a closed shade with sculptural bulb, functioning more like art. 

Few examples of the Letargo or the Lampada senza luce were produced and the Atelier Mendini approximates the number to five or six examples of the Letargo and only three or four of the Lampada senza luce.

Mendini’s furniture is intended as a critical instrument, as a proposal for a scenic interpretation of furnishing, taken to the limit of its impossibility of use [...] its aim is […] to subvert the environments in which it is placed. The material which it is made from is heavy and durable and indicates stability of positioning and over time. They are things and non-things, sub-objects, scenic items of furniture which, due to their extravagant presences, unhinge the standard logic of a home.


Alessandro Mendini's Letargo presented by Bracciodiferro, 1975

The present example was included in the The Groninger Museum's recent exhibtion Mondo Mendini: The World of Alessandro Mendini, 12 October 2019 – 30 August 2020. Tour the exhibition virtually