Johanna Grawunder’s unique and singular creative work invites us to enter a space without harshness. With absolute mastery she puts together a proposition that, as is her wont, takes its inspiration from the colours of the light spectrum.
In an inhabited space, she imagines four variations in shape, modulating coloured shadows: the RedDevil table, the BlackDot garden table, the PinkVoid floor lamp and the GoldBar ceiling light. She samples an intimate atmosphere by scattering zones of colour and gives us a unique landscape where each shape performs a functional task, diffusing an aura of colour that is distilled like a sign, a subtle presence.
Artist or designer? The fusion of genres occurs in a unique and remarkable fashion. Her quest draws on the sources of kinetic art, an art of the environment and a reflection on spectator participation whose optical perception she influences. Light becomes the element of creation, a reflection that also motivates the American artist James Turrell and his “perceptual environments”.
With No Whining On The Yacht, Johanna Grawunder serves an atmospheric quest for well-being, inspired by her contemplation of nature; and shares the elusive beauty of colour.
Johanna Grawunder is an architect and designer who splits her time between her native California and Italy where, while working with Ettore Sottsass from 1985 to 2001, she learned more than just style, she gained a vision of the design process as a whole.
In 2001, she opened two studios, one in San Francisco and one in Milan, where she develops her architectural projects, installations and carries out her own personal work.
Anne Bony, Paris, 2013
Johanna Grawunder was born in 1961 in San Diego. Grawunder is a designer and architect based in Milan and San Francisco with a team of craftspeople in northern Italy. She is known for her monumental light installations. In addition to light installations, her practice includes minimalistic architecture and interiors, limited edition furniture design, and mass-produced pieces. Rather than being composed of light bulbs, Grawunder’s chandeliers are made from fluorescent tubing.
Her modernist designs pair with the resulting simple production and energy efficiency to redefine luxury in the present age by highlighting the fact that there is no greater luxury than for life, art, and the planet to continue to exist. Indeed, Grawunder’s aim is to create works with longevity in a disposable era. To this end, she employs thoughtful and skilled craftsmanship methods.
Grawunder often uses energy efficient mass production techniques and materials, such as polished stainless steel, steel cables, and her signature painted metal. Through light, shape, and color she reveals the beauty of these basic materials. Grawunder’s light installations have also been exhibited on the roof of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.