Ali Tayar (American, born Turkey, 1959)
Tumble–finished, anodized, and cast aluminum; H. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm), Diam. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
Gift of the artist, 1998 (1998.454)
Best known for his contemporary furniture and architectural designs, Ali Tayar's "Waterloo" ashtray/candleholder represents his aesthetics and philosophy in a compact form. Tayar believes in custom-crafted objects with an eye toward mass production. His forms are frequently inspired by elements such as the cross vault found in cathedral architecture, the structural innovations of Spanish Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudí, and the austere mass-produced metal furniture of Frenchman Jean Prouvé. The "reversible" ashtray/candleholder was produced in a limited number as an experimental prototype for the Waterloo Restaurant in New York. However, the prototype was never put into production. Tayar has received commissions for important furniture and architectural projects, including his "NEA" table for the Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1995 and furniture designs for ICF, the New Yorkbased manufacturer.