Known primarily for his work as a designer of lighting fixtures, Serge Mouille, he taught at the School of Applied Arts, where he won his diploma, and opened his own metalworking studio. He even opened an organization to encourage young and emerging lighting designers. An inspiration to many, today we’re taking a look at the work and life of the incredible Serge Mouille.
Serge Mouille is already considered the greatest French designer of light fixtures in the 1950s. Taking a closer look at his incredible creations, we can realize why. Innovative, simple but incredibly stunning. With an always present Scandinavian style that showcases elegance but simplicity, functionality and style, these lighting fixtures are forever going to be in the design world history.
Serge Mouille (1922-1988) received a master silversmith diploma from the School of Applied Arts in Paris. He studied with silversmith and sculptor Gilbert LaCroix and, after graduation in 1941, went to work in his studio. It was 4 years later that he became a teacher at the same school he graduated from and opened his own metalworking studio. At that point his design commissions were mostly for hand rails, chandeliers and wall sconces. In 1953 Jacques Adnet hired him to design lighting fixtures, and that’s when the passion stuck and we were presented with incredible creations we can never forget.
Throughout the 1950s Mouille designed large, angular, insect-like wall mounted and standing lamps with several arms and smaller, more curved wall-sconces. Some of his best known designs from the period are his “Oeil” lamp (1953), “Flammes” (1954) and “Saturn” (1958). Iconic pieces that will never be forgotten, it was surprisingly not so well received at the time. He worked to achieve a kinetic, sculptural aesthetic that evoked a sense of movement in space.
In 1955 he became a member of the Society of Decorative Artists and of the French National Art Society. In the same year he was awarded the Charles Plumet prize for his work and in 1958 he received a Diploma of Honor at the Brussels Expo.
Towards the end of the 1950s the invention of neon tubes inspired Mouille to create a series of floor lamps that combined incandescence and fluorescence. These designs, called the “Colonnes” collection, had their debut at the 1962 Salon for interior design, and are some of his better known later works.
Mouille established the SCM (Société de Création de Modèles) in 1961 as a way to encourage young and emerging lighting designers. He worked and taught for the rest of his life, showing his lighting and jewelry at several exhibitions. For his career as a metal smith and designer he was awarded a medal from the City of Paris from the Directors of Professional Artists.
Now, his designs are present in a various number of showrooms all over the world, proving that out of a passion can be born and grow iconic pieces of art.
Find out more at sergemouille.com
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