Bernard Schottlander

Born: 1924 Died: 1999
Best-known work: Mantis lamp series
Training: Sculptor

Background
Bernard Schottlander was born in Germany, Mainz, and moved to England in 1939. He served with the British army in India, and after his farewell to the military he learned the art of welding and attended the Leeds College of Art and later the Anglo-French Art Centre in St John’s Wood on a scholarship.

After several successful years as a designer, Bernard Schottlander chose to concentrate on his sculptures. In the late 50’s he founded a workshop in the north London, where his assistant was the talented George Nash.

From 1965, he taught metalwork at the St Martins School of Art. In the same year he was part of the group show Six Artists at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and in 1966 he had his first solo exhibition at the Hamilton Galleries in London.

He is perhaps best-remembered for his Mantis lamp series from 1951. Schottlander admired Alexander Calder, and the same sense of sculptural movement is visible in Mantis. Schottlander developed his own counterweight system which, combined with a system of strong and flexible metals poles, makes the Mantis lamps look like they’re defying gravity.

Today Mantis comes in several varieties and is extremely popular throughout the world.