Segments in this Video

"Black Forms" (01:16)


"Light is the source of all images," quotes the narrator from Serge Mouille, designer of "Lucifer the Light Bearer" lamp.

Teacher and Silversmith (01:22)

Born in Paris, Serge Mouille studied to become a silversmith and became a mentor to others. He also decorated department store windows with stable mobiles.

Stable Mobile (01:05)

Tripod fingers balance the organic black reflectors, black finish, and graphic structures of Mouille's iconic lamps.

Modern Lamp History (00:56)

Lamp history includes the Mariano Fortuny 1903 disk, Chareau's 1923 "Nun," Eileen Gray's 1927 tube lamp, Baldessari's 1929 "Luminator," and Pietro Ciese's 1933 "Illuminator."

Mouille's Creativity (02:23)

In 1951, Serge Mouille experimented with a large light fixture with mobile lamps, creating his iconic reflectors. He patented over 50 models as he explored his materials.

Basic Elements (01:11)

All Mouille's Black Forms have essential elements of a brass ball and socket and brass screws on the arms that highlight the dark structure.

Those Adventurous, Crazy 1950s (01:29)

The 1950s boom in household appliances and consumerism fostered creative and eccentric ideas like Eric Thiermann's 1955 film.

Industrial Curvilinear Free Form Furniture (00:56)

Designers adopted free forms like Noguchi's curvilinear tables, Yanagi stools and Eames and Guariche chairs. Strip tease became a modern art form.

White and Black Lamps (01:50)

Carlo Mollino's designs and race car might have influenced Mouille. Louis Sognot featured Mouille's lamps in his exhibits. Contrary to white lamps, the black forms occupy space when off.

Free Forms (01:27)

Mouille's black reflectors have a sensual free form linked to the female form and Bridgette Bardot.

French Fashion (01:37)

The slender waist black dress dominated French fashion and hats focused light on the face like lamp shades. Avant-garde decorators made aluminum a chic statement.

Serge Mouille Workshop (02:26)

Witness the construction of Mouille's black lamps at the Serge Mouille Workshop.

Smart Lighting (01:36)

The flexibility of the Black Forms lighting goes beyond functionality to create different environments according to the architecture and intensity.

Modern Lighting of the 1950s (00:58)

The mobile structures of Alexander Calder compare to the Black Forms. Modern lights were moveable and multiple with oblique lines and metal structures made by craftsmen.

Mouille's Geometric Forms (01:18)

In 1959, Mouille began to design geometric constructivist forms like his black metal tubes with slits for the light- closer to sculpture than lamps.

Mouille Revival (01:38)

In the 1980s, 1950s lamps were out of fashion until the Isabelle Gounod Gallery revived them. Mouille's vintage lights were in demand and Claude Delpiroux resumed production in 1999.

Present Day Designers (01:43)

Today's designers like Patrick Jouin, Tord Boontje, and Karim Rashid emphasize function of light over lighting.

Credits: Black Lamps of Serge Mouille: Design—Milestones of 20th Century Industrial Design (00:59)

Credits: Black Lamps of Serge Mouille: Design—Milestones of 20th Century Industrial Design

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Black Lamps of Serge Mouille: Design—Milestones of 20th-Century Industrial Design

Part of the Series : Design—Milestones of 20th-Century Industrial Design
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Serge Mouille's lamps are thoroughly modern and timeless. They are unparalleled in both their conception and manufacture, two features essential to the project, and the basis of good design. His outstanding handcrafted work ethic seems obsolete in today's era of industrial outsourcing. Serge Mouille spent his later years teaching his know-how, in the style of the Living National Treasures of Japan, forgoing all awards and accolades from industrial society.

Please preview prior to using this video as it contains subject matter which may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL65363

ISBN: 978-1-60057-672-0

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.