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Drawing, Three Designs for Tables, June 15, 1981

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Michele De Lucchi. It is dated June 15, 1981 and we acquired it in 2013. Its medium is pen and black ink, color crayon on cream paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This is one of two sheets of designs for tables by Michele De Lucchi that date from the founding year of Memphis, the highly influential design collective led by Ettore Sottsass. Members of the collective included De Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier, Matteo Thun, and Marco Zanini. The Memphis group, which coalesced in response to the predominant modernist aesthetic, caused a sensation with their fun product designs and architecture in flamboyant colors and richly patterned surfaces—a striking contrast to the cool elegance of modernist design.
The designs on these two sheets explore some playful ideas for a table. Instead of a traditional base, the table uses a leaning single column base buttressed by a stabilizing arc-shaped support. The black-and-white striped table top can be found in other products designed by De Lucchi for Memphis, such as the Oceanic Table Lamp and the Flamingo Side Table. The base motif appears to have inspired a tea kettle designed by Matteo Thun a few years later.
These De Lucchi drawings would not only enhance the museum’s collection of drawings by 20th- and 21st-century designers, but would also serve as documentation of the Memphis group’s early design activity.

This object was donated by Friedman Benda Gallery. It is credited Gift of Friedman Benda.

  • Print, Dining Area, 1985
  • screenprint on white wove paper.
  • Gift of Nathalie du Pasquier and George J. Sowden.
  • 1985-69-3

Its dimensions are

31.4 x 23.8 cm (12 3/8 x 9 3/8 in.)

It is signed

Signed in black ink, lower left: M. de Lucchi/ 15. VI. 1981. N.Y.

Cite this object as

Drawing, Three Designs for Tables, June 15, 1981; Designed by Michele De Lucchi (Italian, b. 1951); USA; pen and black ink, color crayon on cream paper; 31.4 x 23.8 cm (12 3/8 x 9 3/8 in.); Gift of Friedman Benda; 2013-24-7

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Three Designs for Tables, June 15, 1981 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 January 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>