Original James Evanson Lighthouse Lamp
Evanson, James. Lo-Beam. (1984).
12 1/4" H x 8 1/8" W x 8 1/8" D; wood, paint, lacquer, steel, loose plastic elements.
For architect and designer James Evanson, “the lights in a room must be no less important than the walls or the floor,” and with his signature series of Lighthouse lamps—of which this, Lo-Beam, is one—he succeeded spectacularly.
Inspired by both modernist architecture, particularly Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses, and the design principles of the Memphis Group, Evanson visualized an entire series of truly unique pieces of functional art.
Each of the Lighthouses included customizable features, such as moveable acrylic pieces and wooden accessories, which made them as much about lighting as creating an intimate, unique space. From the time the urban-inspired light fixtures were first introduced at the 1988 Art et Industrie, Evanson’s Lighthouses have become an icon of the post-modern and functional art movement, and they have appeared in museums and galleries Internationally.
Trained at both the Art Center College of Design in California and Pratt Institute, Evanson began his foray into the decorative arts with a line of custom wooden flat files that quickly caught the eye of Art et Industrie founder Rick Kaufmann, who started offering them in his ground-breaking SoHo showroom.
Inspired by that success, Evanson expanded his range of production, combining architectural elements, applied graphics, and unusual materials into unique furniture and lighting designs which Interior Design magazine praised as “very much au courant, very much ‘New Wave,’” yet also at “the vanguard of what later was to become a pronounced style.” Evanson believes that decoration “should be integral to the shape of furniture and buildings.... To make art is simple, but to make art furniture means integrating many aspects so that the whole piece is not arbitrary and whimsical, but holds together.”
His work has been prominently featured in numerous national galleries and museums, including Novo Arts, Art and Architectural Design, Art et Industrie, Tower Gallery, Gallery 91, and MIT’s Hayden Gallery, and was also selected for several influential Memphis shows. Among Evanson’s ample press notices are articles in magazines and newspapers ranging from the A.I.A. Journal, Metropolitan Home, Progressive Architecture, and Art Week to New York Magazine, International Design, Details, and The New York Times.