Book Signing November 9th

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Please Join us on November 9th at Good Design from 3-7 to welcome our good friend Torinese Architect Davide Alaimo and to celebrate the publication of his two books. Davide has written two scholarly books which document for the first time the productions of Cristal Art and of Colli. Cristal Art was a glass company making products in Turin whose mirrors have been shown by dealers for a number of years. In February I wrote a blog about Cristal Art. I’m planning another soon about Pier Luigi Colli and his company. Both Torinese makers were important manufacturers in mid century Italy but up until now it was difficult or impossible to find documentation and misattributions were being made. Now we have Davide’s two works which include original drawings and catalog images from their company’s archives. Come meet Davide and see these important new works and meet their author!

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Look Closely Again And Again

Last week, I was very excited to see a larger version of appliques that I have in my home. They were shown in an auction catalogue and attributed to the influential Italian architect Tomasso Buzzi. Buzzi was friends and colleagues with Gio Ponti during the 1920’s and 1930’s. I’d bought my appliques, a single leafed pair, a dozen years ago from a dealer who knows Buzzi’s work well. She hadn’t said the sconces were by Buzzi when I bought them. My sense is that they are by Barovier but this attribution of Buzzi made me look into it further.

The auction catalog sited page 399 in the Marino Barovier book “Tomasso Buzzi at Venini” by Skira 2014 as it’s documentation that the appliques were legitimately by Buzzi. This large and detailed book regarding the work of Tomasso Buzzi accompanied the splendid Buzzi exhibit that year in Venice.

During the summer of  2014 I was in Venice, and I went to see the exhibit a couple of times. It was exquisite! Set at the renowned Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, it was a joy to behold. What Buzzi produced for Venini is amazing and I spent hours looking and studying. Somewhat minimalist, perfectly scaled, exquisitely colored, finely made, these pieces are remarkable examples of Murano glass. While I hoped my appliques were by Buzzi, my gut told me that the auction house attribution wasn’t right. While I love my little appliques I don’t see the hand of Buzzi in them. Still the question needed further investigation. Opening my copy of the exhibition catalogue to page 399 here is what I saw. Continue reading

Announcing Gio Ponti Fabrics at Good Design

Gio Ponti Fabrics by Tre80.

Gio Ponti Fabrics by Tre80.

It’s my pleasure to announce that the Gio Ponti printed textiles will be available at Good Design. We are introducing these fabrics during What’s New What’s Next. Currently being produced by Tre80 whose founder is Fede Grampa,their production is exclusively authorized by the Gio Ponti archives.  These printed textiles are the result of a collaboration between her father, Luigi Grampa and Gio Ponti in the 1950’s. Mr. Grampa’s company, Manufattura JSA, located in Busto Arsizio was one of the chief printed textile concerns in Italy. Ms. Grampa is honoring us with a presentation on Ponti and his relationship with JSA. It should prove to be a very personal glimpse into Mid-Century Italian design. Her talk will begin at 5:45 P.M. on September 22nd. Please register for What’s New What’s Next Here.

 

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The Cradle of Italian Design

Unique Desk by Ico Parisi by Fratelli Rizzi, Capiago Intimiano, Italy 1958

Design books and magazine articles on the development of Italian Modernism and post war construction continuously champion the vital role played by Italy’s architects and larger manufacturers. As a result, the names of Ponti, Mollino, Albini, Ulrich, Mangiarotti, Frattini, Parisi, Sottsass, Scarpa, Cassina, Gavina are all very well known. Missing from the discourse however, are the many small producers, with whom architects collaborated to create the body of work which is now called Italian Moderism.

Commenting on what he saw at the 1951 Triennale, american architect, Dorwin Teague saw Italy’s craftsmanship as its greatest resource. These fine artisans were not the mere executors of the architects’ visions. Their knowledge of traditional craft and forms played an influential and important role in shaping the very look of Italian design. Continue reading