The collection
Floor lamp with thin aluminum shaft and angular tripod with inverted pyramid casing for light source with a flat square reflector above.

Floor Lamp, Tenderly

Designed by
Shigeru Uchida (1943–2016)
Steel with baked Melamine finish, aluminum
Produced by
Chairs, Tokyo, Japan
136.8 x 49.5 x 42 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Toshiko Mori, D92.192.1

This lamp’s telescoping rod and lamp supported on a tripod was inspired by a photographer’s light stand. The halogen bulb in its inverted pyramid shade points directly upward to a square metal screen, which both reflects the light and allows it to pass through, creating ambient lighting for a room. He based his initial sketch for this tilting screen, he explained, on “the image of Japanese men holding up their sun visors to see who is good-looking.”

The name Tenderly comes from Elvis Presley’s song “Softly and Tenderly,” reflecting Uchida’s interest in American pop music of the mid-twentieth century. Designed at the height of the excesses of postmodernism, Uchida’s work anticipated the new minimalism of the 1990s.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Giles Rivest.