Rebirth of a Panton Ceiling

Verner Panton was a true postmodernist. He was theatrical, maximalist, sensual, and very successful in the age of Pop design. Color, texture, light, dramatic elements, were the principle tools of his oeuvre. When teaching the history of the modern interior, I have always loved showing the black-and-white dining room which he created in his own home in Switzerland, in 1972. Because here, he crafted drama sans color, a grandeur, which, to me, signifies not only the allure of the postmodernist interior, but also Panton’s brilliant talent. Around a marble table, was a set of his iconic Panton Chairs in black plastic, and on the ceiling, the most magnificent light, crafted of thousands and thousands of mother-of-pearl discs, a true fantasy, which created magical atmosphere. It was extracted from his famed Fun series of lamps, made of metal frames and discs in the 60s, and which had witnessed a tremendous commercial success at the time, widely reproduced today. He took that same concept to the extreme, and when it comes to extremes, Panton was the ultimate master. Now, this masterpiece, after an extensive restoration, has moved (on loan from the Panton family) to the restaurant at the Kunsthalle Basel, making it available to the public to experience this achievement, and to witness the talent of the Danish, Basel-based designer.  

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