12. November 2019

Ingo Mau­r­er intim — Design or what?

In close col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ingo Mau­r­er and his team, Die Neue Samm­lung – The Design Muse­um devel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive show that includes every­thing from his ear­ly designs right up to his lat­est lumi­naires, with more than 80 objects plus mod­els and pho­tographs. The exhi­bi­tion intro­duces the view­er to Maurer’s fas­ci­nat­ing world of light and shade.

Ingo Mau­r­er (1932 Island of Reichenau, Lake Con­stance – 2019 Munich) devot­ed him­self almost exclu­sive­ly to light since 1966, and with his “Bulb” lumi­naire pro­duced his first, famous state­ment in the form of an icon­ic light bulb. Since that time, he and his team in his Munich work­shop have been devel­op­ing com­plex, inge­nious, and elab­o­rate light objects and light­ing con­cepts for both pri­vate and pub­lic spaces as well as spec­tac­u­lar one-offs.

Maurer’s inter­na­tion­al break­through came 1984 with his nov­el light­ing sys­tem “YaYa­Ho”, one of the first low-volt­age wire sys­tems for halo­gen reflec­tor lamps. To this day, many of his lumi­naires are well-known the world over, among them “Zettel’z” (1997), which users can part­ly design them­selves. His “EL.E.DEE” (2001) is con­sid­ered the very first LED table lamp – and in 2008 togeth­er with the Osram com­pa­ny he devised “Ear­ly Future”, the world’s first mass-pro­duced OLED luminaire.

“Ingo Mau­r­er intim” alludes to how Ingo Mau­r­er saw his work. In close and trust­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with his team, Mau­r­er devel­oped each step from the ini­tial sketch to the final prod­uct to the sales process. “Design or what?” alludes to the excit­ing inter­ac­tion of design, art, and archi­tec­ture. Because with Maurer’s objects the ques­tion often aris­es of how, if at all, they can be pigeon­holed in terms of style. This gave Mau­r­er a great deal of free­dom as no one dis­ci­pline had clear expec­ta­tions of what he would create.

This scope can be seen from his ver­sa­til­i­ty and open mind, his spe­cial appli­ca­tion of porce­lain, plas­tic, paper or gold – and his use of tech­no­log­i­cal nov­el­ties of the day, such as halo­gen lamps or OLED. Along­side the mate­ri­als and tech­nol­o­gy, quite unspec­tac­u­lar moments in every­day life serve as his inspi­ra­tion when con­jur­ing up new light­ing situations.
A joy in exper­i­men­ta­tion and play­ful­ness are to be sensed in his works, which span the entire spec­trum of ele­gance, sim­plic­i­ty, man­ner­ism, con­struc­tion, and humor. The lat­ter is reflect­ed in his pre­ferred use of wit­ty and ono­matopo­et­ic prod­uct names that draw on dif­fer­ent languages.

In the final instance, it is not form that takes the fore­ground in his pieces, but the qual­i­ty of light and its impact on peo­ple and the par­tic­u­lar space involved. Mau­r­er cre­ates emo­tion and mood and seeks a sym­bio­sis of tech­nol­o­gy and poetry.

In the per­son of Ingo Mau­r­er and his team – fol­low­ing on from Kon­stan­tin Grcic, Wern­er Aisslinger, Hel­la Jon­gerius & Louise Schouwen­berg and Friedrich von Bor­ries – we are con­tin­u­ing our series on con­tem­po­rary posi­tions in design in the Pater­nos­ter Hall; ever since 2015, each year Die Neue Samm­lung – The Design Muse­um has been invit­ing inter­na­tion­al pro­tag­o­nists of design to present their ideas here.

Pinakothek der Mod­erne, Bar­er Str. 40, 80333 Munich
Novem­ber 15, 2019 – Octo­ber 18, 2020