The husband and wife team behind New York-based design studio PELLE describes their new lighting collection, ‘The Incise Paintings’ as a “provocative objet d’art”. Indeed, the light bulbs peeking out of torn canvases do require a second glance.

Pelle drew inspiration from the technique of Argentine-Italian artist and theorist Lucio Fontana, most widely known as the founder of the Spatialism movement. Like Fontana, Pelle sliced through boldly coloured canvases contained in thick oak frames. Pearlescent light bulbs are inset within the incisions, illuminating the textured layers of the surrounding painted surface to create an expansive field of light.

The studio intends for the series to be displayed with the same respect and appreciation given to a piece of fine art, with the floating timber frames reminiscent of the style in which mid-century masterworks are presented within museums and galleries.

Though the incisions look random and expressive, they are in fact deliberate and precise in shape and placement in order to adequately support the light bulbs and canvas. The black space surrounding the bulbs gives a compelling illusion of 3D depth. The works do protrude more than your average artwork, due to the thick timber concealing the electrical components of the lights, which are manually operable by a discreet dimmable switch underneath the frame.

The Incise Paintings bring an imaginative and on-the-nose ‘artistic’ approach to lighting, encouraging a renewed perspective on its expressive potential within a space. Handmade to order, the paintings are available in three different canvas sizes: 20 x 20cm with one bulb, 30 x 91cm with two bulbs, and 122 x 122cm with three bulbs. Each canvas is painted either ivory, pale blue, blue-violet, or terracotta.


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[Images courtesy of PELLE.]


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