Brecht Wright Gander, Archon Lamp, USA, 2019

Brecht Wright Gander, Archon Lamp, USA, 2019

The Archon lamp receives it’s name from the greek work for “ruler.” It’s exterior imposing, muscular, and spiny — the interior pink, cavernous and hearth-like. The cord below has been imagined as a vulnerable pupa which the lamp protects, or an arterial connection — the vital vein which pumps in the power. The cord’s bulge is also meant to give literal weight and presence to the design element of lighting which lighting designers traditionally loathe and labor to conceal. It is coated with layers of pearlescent white paint and translucent pearlescent glaze which impart a subtle shimmer.

Gander treats functionality as a ground for aesthetic play. His wide-ranging curiosity fuels his research-driven practice. He engages a multitude of unconventional materials, describing his unique works as “a culmination of many collisions.”  Gander seeks out materials that allow him to go from impulse to final result with few intermediate steps. Using resins, paper pulps, single-use molds, spray foam, and cast-able concrete allows the artist’s hand to resonate throughout the work, addressing the “longing for haptic connection” Gander feels is a by-product of digital culture.

A recent move to a large warehouse-sized studio space in rural New Jersey has opened up Gander’s opportunity to experiment with new materials, including lightweight glass fiber, reinforced concrete, and color-shifting pigments, while allowing his works to take on a monumental scale.

Maintaining a delicate balance between whimsy and function helps stabilize Gander’s design practice.

“I want a certain level of seriousness with my play, to know that it’s connected to an inquiry that has a weighted intention behind it,” he says. “When it’s playful but also having to hit these measures of functionality, that’s the kind of place that I find the most compelling.”

Medium: Steel, Plaster Wrap, Metal Leaf, Pigment, Wire Mesh

Dimensions: 102” H x 52” W x 61” D, 259.08 H x 132.08 W x 154.94 D cm

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