written by:
February 4, 2016
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.

The Lamp Show runs through April 10 at 99¢ Plus gallery.

1 / 10
Chen Chen and Kai Williams Gingko Lamp from the Lamp Show

Chen Chen and Kai Williams's Gingko Lamp combines urethane resin, wood, fabric, and acrylic in a terrazzo-like creation.

2 / 10
Chris Lux Sweet Potato at the Lamp Show

Chris Lux's Sweet Potato (yellow) blends ceramic, epoxy resin, lighting elements, and oil.

3 / 10
Jessica Hans Lava Lamp at the Lamp Show

The bulb takes center stage in Jessica Hans's Lava Lamp

4 / 10
Katie Stout Trojan Sconce at the Lamp Show

An artist and designer known for her exuberant multimedia creations, Katie Stout used fringe, mesh, and vinyl to create her Trojan Sconce.

5 / 10
Nick DeMarco

Nick DeMarco's Step Lamp takes cues from architecture. 

6 / 10
Lamp by Henry Gunderson

Henry Gunderson's plaster Floor Sample #10 take a slightly retro approach.

7 / 10
Eric Shaw Loop Lamp at the Lamp Show

Painter Eric Shaw's Loop Lamp is one of the few pieces in the show to riff on the traditional shade.

8 / 10
Misha Kahn B.A.N.A.N.A.S. lamp

A resin-coated mop makes up Misha Kahn's bright-yellow B.A.N.A.N.A.S, which recalls a torch, but doesn't actually give off light. 

9 / 10
Paul Wackers Neptune's Temper at the Lamp Show

Neptune’s Temper by Paul Wackers is a standing sculpture assemblage.

10 / 10
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0

The Lamp Show runs through April 10 at 99¢ Plus gallery.

For curator Zoe Alexander Fisher, there's art in the everyday. Here, she reveals what happens when you invite 30 artists to interpret an iconic form, and makes lighting such an interesting subject. 

How did you create The Lamp Show?

The show came from my work with HANDJOB [Gallery/Store], inviting artists and designers to experiment with a medium they haven't worked with before. So for artists, allowing them to explore what it means to make a functional object. For designers, going the other way, and what it means to make a more experimental functional object. It allows people to get weird and explore. 

How did you choose the form of the lamp for this project? 

The lamp is a really important object in the home that can so dramatically can change a space. It's not just about an object sitting on a table, it's about what radiates out of it. 

It's a starting-off place, because I'm going to be doing more of these exhibitions. The next one may be a vessel exhibition—thinking about things that hold other things, things that bring life into the home, so pots and plants and vases. This is definitely the first of many. 

It's interesting that you describe a lamp or a vessel by its function, rather than its form.

I'm very interested in creating objects that have some sort of influence on your daily life, and what it means if you bring an object into the home. It doesn't just sit there, it changes your space, and it changes the way you interact with your space. 

It seems like you approach the topic from a wide idea of functionality. It's not the dictionary definition; it's a more open interpretation. How do you define a "functional object?"

In work with HANDJOB, I pretty much allow the designers to decide what it means to them, so it's really open-ended. For me, functionality is having some use and applicability in your daily life. A necklace could be explained as having the function of changing your outfit and changing the way people think about you. A bowl, quite obviously, has a function of holding food for your to sustain yourself on. My definition of functionality is pretty open to whatever anybody else can explain it as—I like hearing other people's interpretations. 

Were there specific directions that you gave participants?

The lineup came from working with the network of people that I've either worked with or been wanting to work with for a while. I really wanted to invite people from a range of experience and whose aesthetics are really different. There's Chen Chen and Kai Williams, who are established designers, and I knew their product would be a more finished product, which it is—and it's beautiful. Then I invited artists like Chris Lux, Jessica Hans, Katie Stout—people who really make wild things in tons of different materials, and that might be a little more goofy and crazy. Then I invited some conceptual artists, who I knew would think about really what it means to make a lamp and make it in a really different way. Nick DeMarco is one artist who's more on the conceptual side. Henry Gunderson and Eric Shaw are painters. I invited people from a range of different backgrounds so I could get really different works from them.

Are there projects that surprised you?

Everyone surprised me. Misha Khan was a last minute addition, actually. I asked him a while ago and he wasn't going to be able to do it, and then contacted me the day before and said, "I have something for you! I want to be in the show." His is this amazing torch-like, not actually illuminating, object. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before of his and it just happens to be exactly the color of the yellow walls, which is great. Paul Wackers, who's a painter, did this beautiful standing sculpture, that has a large neon light on the back. I've never seen anything like that from Paul.

A lot of these people, it was a totally new process for them, and what they pulled out was totally unlike the rest of their work. There were a lot of surprises!

The Lamp Show takes place at 99¢ Plus Gallery, 238 Wilson Avenue, Brooklyn, through April 10, 2016.

 

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016