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Textile, Lippen

This is a Textile. It was designed by Verner Panton. It is dated 1968 and we acquired it in 2011. Its medium is cotton and its technique is screen printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Lippen was initially part of Visiona 0, an exhibition designed by Verner Panton for the 1968 Cologne Furniture Fair. The installation showcased a futurist environment that included furniture, lighting, and textiles, the combination of which produced a visually interesting and virtually psychedelic effect. Round rooms of various colors were bedecked with draperies and round carpets printed with large photorealist representations of hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mouths (as seen in this textile). The model for these body parts was the designer’s wife, Marianne.
Color was a central element in all of Panton’s designs for interiors, furniture and, in particular, textiles, which became the most important vehicle for color in his futurist environments. Born in Denmark, Panton lived and worked most of his life in Basel, Switzerland, where by the mid-1950s he was an internationally acclaimed interior architect and designer. He pursued architecture studies at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen (1947–51) and was greatly influenced by his mentor, Poul Henningsen, a Danish designer known for his iconic lighting design of the mid-20th century. Equally influential was Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen, for whom Panton worked from 1950 and 1952.
In 1968, Panton was commissioned by the German chemical company, Bayer, to design the Visiona 0 installation at the Cologne Furniture Fair using synthetic fibers and materials. Visiona 0 was intended as the first of an annual series of floating exhibitions to take place on a boat—the name “Visiona” was Panton’s idea. As described by one writer, Panton’s environments were a “melding together of walls, floor and ceiling into a passageway of colorful folding formations.”
Later on, the Swiss textile company, Mira-X, a long time collaborator with Panton, produced these designs as the Anatomical Design series. Visiona continued until the mid-1970s under Panton’s leadership, and featured such illustrious designers as Joe Colombo. The focus, however, shifted to home textiles rather than Panton’s initial concept of a model living environment crafted by technical innovations in the implementation of synthetic materials.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Lips.

It is credited Gift of Evan Snyderman and Zesty Meyers of R 20th Century and museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

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Its dimensions are

H x W: 448.9 × 121.9 cm (176 3/4 in. × 48 in.)

It is inscribed

Verner Panton anatomie m-dralon

Cite this object as

Textile, Lippen; Designed by Verner Panton (Danish, 1926–1998); Switzerland; cotton; H x W: 448.9 × 121.9 cm (176 3/4 in. × 48 in.); Gift of Evan Snyderman and Zesty Meyers of R 20th Century and museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2011-36-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Virtue in Vice.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18785137/ |title=Textile, Lippen |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>