A tribute to Ingo Maurer, the poet of light

Being a designer takes creativity, vision, a lot of study and a pinch of madness. All qualities with which Ingo Maurer, the recently deceased ‘poet of light’ was undoubtedly gifted.

We at Mastella can also be said to identify with these characteristics, just think of products such as the Vov and Anahita freestanding bathtubs or the Kalla washbasin: all projects in which it was necessary to dare to go outside the box.

Given this affinity of spirit, to which we can only bow, today we want to pay a small tribute to this artist of light, telling why his signature has entered and will remain forever in the history of design.


Who was Ingo Maurer?

Born in 1932 on the island of Reichenau in Lake Constance. Who knows, perhaps it was while observing the refracting of light on water as a child, its changing during the hours of the day and the changing of the seasons, that he began to consider this element a game.

After studying graphic design in Munich, he continued to play more and more seriously, embarking on a flourishing design career between New York and San Francisco, before returning to Bavaria.

A legend in his own lifetime, his creations are part of the collections of the world’s most important museums, such as the MoMa in New York, the famous Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, near Basel, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Not to mention the numerous temporary exhibitions in which he has participated and the various public works and urban installations that bear his signature, such as the huge lamps placed in a Munich metro station in 2009 (you can see them in the photo on the cover). His career also received formal recognition with the awarding of the Compasso d’Oro Career Prize in 2011.


The poet of light

After having put his signature on a large number of iconic lamps, Ingo Maurer passed away on a very symbolic day and his Instagram page remembered him as follows: “On October 21, 2019 Ingo Maurer passed away. On the same day 140 years earlier in 1879 Thomas Alva Edison had the first successful test of a light bulb”.



This coincidence is as exciting as some of his creations, which by playing with the arrangement of shapes, materials, light and shadow, always manage to become an expression of emotion.

One of the most striking is certainly Porca Miseria!, the 1994 light sculpture that became part of the permanent collection of the MoMA in New York. It was inspired by a famous slow-motion explosion scene from Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Zabriskie Point.




Being a true artist, Maurer also managed to achieve more romantic and delicate results, always taking into account the almost magical effects of light and shadow.



His entire Luccellino lamp series has also made history. Here, too, it is a design that can only be conceived by those who know how to fly with their imagination.



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