Masanori Umeda, ‘Orinoco Vase’, 1983, The Modern Archive
Masanori Umeda, ‘Orinoco Vase’, 1983, The Modern Archive

An unusual example in this early color variation. More commonly seen in glazed in natural color with beige spheres and green and blue trim. This example travelled with the Memphis exhibition to most venues from Memphis, Tennessee to the Cooper Hewitt in New York City. It was also was displayed in the Grace Designs showroom and has remained in our founder's collection. It is in truly remarkable condition despite its travels over the last thirty-plus years. There is a very small void in the glaze on one side of the vase 2/3 down from the top and is probably original to the piece.
In the late 60's, Umeda moved to Milan and worked with Achille and Pier Giacomo Castliglioni in their studio and later became a consultant for the Olivetti Company, where he met Ettore Sottsass. Masanori Umeda captivated everyone's attention with his first design for Memphis - the "Tawaraya" (boxing ring) seating for the inaugural 1981 Memphis collection. In 1982, he designed a laminate bookcase in the shape of a robot titled "Ginza". The following year his designs included two thought-provoking ceramics, the Parana tray and the Orinoco vase. These pieces enabled exploration of form at a tabletop scale and became some of his most popular designs.

Series: Not numbered

Signature: Not signed as were none of the ceramics for Memphis/Milano

Image rights: The Modern Archive

Manufacturer: Memphis/Milano

U.S. Memphis traveling exhibition at ten venues from Memphis, TN to NYC's Cooper Hewitt Museum

Included in Memphis, research, Experiences, Results, Failures and Successes by Barbara Radice


About Masanori Umeda