Three artists based in Berlin have incorporated lava lamps into their work in recent years; Jenna Sutela worked with Mathmos to create a limited edition run with Mathmos lava lamp liquids, Susi Gelb incorporated Mathmos lava lamps into her artwork and Aliina Kauranne was inspired by Mathmos lava lamps of the 90s to create her retro-futuristic work.
“Baby Magma” by Jenna Sutela
for The Serpentine Gallery London 2022
A limited edition run of 26 hand-blown lava lamps entitled “Baby Magma” was created by Finish artist Jenna Sutela who is based in Berlin. They formed part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of London’s Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. The collector’s pieces were sold quickly at £840 each.
“Baby Magma” are small-scale versions of the heads collection created as part of Sutela’s 2019 work, I Magma, a co-commission between Serpentine and Moderna Museet. After extensive testing, the heads were hand filled in the Mathmos factory. The heads were formed in the artist’s likeness, and the work’s title was inspired by Mathmos’ “Astro Baby” Lava lamp.
“The magma, or goo inside the original lava heads was used as a seed for mystical AI-powered predictions in a mobile application. Lava lamps have a history as random number generators but instead, Sutela looked for patterns, signs and meaning in the blobs of liquid colour in motion.”
Extract from the Serpentine Gallery listing; see here for further information.
Further information on artist Jenna Sutela here.
“GG Metal Boot, Quartet & Glass Boot” by Aliina Kauranne 2022
Finnish digital artist and designer Aliina Kauranne, also based in Berlin, was asked by the iconic fashion brand Gucci to create work for their centenary. She and 29 other artists were to imagine what the next 100 years of Gucci would look like. She took inspiration from the digitalisation of fashion and from Mathmos lava lamps that were so popular in the 90s to create her wonderful retrofuturist art pieces.
The works were auctioned at Gucci X Super Rare’s Vault Art Space, a crypto art exhibition celebrating 100 years of the Italian fashion company.
More information on Aliina Kauranne here.
Gucci Vault Art Space here.
“Core 02 & 03” by Susi Gelb
Shown at Frieze London 2021
Susi Gelb is a German artist based between Berlin and Munich. She incorporated Mathmos lava lamps into some of her recent sculptures. Core 02 & 03, are sculptures made of rammed earth with a Mathmos Astro lava lamp within. Rammed earth is an ancient technique in which earth and stones are manually compressed in layers. Gelb also uses the data from the lava lamps to create random movements for her video work. The sculptures and video were displayed at Cédric Fauq’s “Unworlding” exhibition at Frieze London in October 2021.
She has also produced: Melt 01, a transparent LED panel with a video loop of lava.
Further information on Susi Gelb here.