Meier, Richard (American, b.1934)
Pair of Skyscraper Candlesticks for Swid Powell
Silver plated brass
Marked on underside: “Swid Powell / Made in Italy / Silver Plated” along with the cypher “RM”
9in h x 3.6 diam (base)in d
• An Important Main Line, PA Collection
• Acquired from Ahlers & Ogletree, 27 Aug 2016, Lot 299
Although best known for his architecture, Richard Meier also designed decorative pieces such as the present Skyscraper candlesticks, manufactured by Swid Powell tableware company of New York City in 1984. With their simple, geometric design, square cut-out decoration, and elongated form, Meier’s candlesticks harken back to the early twentieth-century designs of architects he admired most- Josef Hoffmann and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Meier’s designs for decorative pieces, are personal. As noted in Annette Tapert’s book “Swid Powell Objects by Architects,” Meier states: “I relate these products to my architecture in that they are related to me. What I design are not only things I want to live with, but things I need. For example, I need photo frames for pictures of my children, I need bowls for nuts. I also design for Swid Powell because I haven’t been able to find things on the market that I like to live with on a daily basis. It satisfies my own particular desire for certain kinds of things that are part of life for me and for others who want them. It’s the same as architecture.”
Many of Meier’s designs for Swid Powell are in the Yale University Art Gallery. Among Meier’s many lifetime achievements in design and architecture, Meier is best known for designing the Getty Center, Los Angeles and Paley Center for Media, in Beverly Hills, California; the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Spain; and the Hague City Hall, the Netherlands.