Venice 2018 – Ettore Sottsass’ Thaiti lamp, di Michele De Lucchi’s First Chair and the Bel Air armchair by Peter Shire are just some of the many design icons on show at the MEMPHIS – Plastic Field exhibition by Fondazione Berengo at Palazzo Franchetti in Venice. Curated by Jean Blanchaert and Adriano Berengo, the exhibition displays bold masterpieces by the rebel Italian movement.
In the early ‘80s when the design group challenged the minimalist trend with a multicoloured, pop art-inspired style with a provocative soul, this time Memphis’ iconic works stand out in contrast with the historical backcloth of 16th century Palazzo Franchetti.
As a frame for the exhibition, a field of black leaves and plants is set to fade out any surrounding colour and let the visitors’ attention focus on the bold and daring range of tones and shapes which allowed architect Ettore Sottsass to leave an unforgettable mark in the global design scene of his time, together with the other co-founders of the movement.
The exhibition presents a selection of contemporary productions of the group’s most renowned works in their original design. Alongside Sottsass’ masterpieces, “Plastic Field” will offer the chance for visitors to enjoy the design works signed by Zanini, De Lucchi, Zanuso Jr, Bley, Bedin, Mendini, Mariscal, Kuramata, Cibic, Graves, Iosa Ghini, Thun, Taylor, Umeda, Sowden, Sanchez, Shire, Branzi and Du Pasquier.
Memphis’ innate irreverence shines through the exhibition’s structure as well, whose set-up by IB Studio reshape Palazzo Franchetti’s map through Carlton’s geometrical skeleton, Sottsass’ 1981 iconic room divider that incarnates the postmodernist soul of his maker.
A thematic room is set to celebrate the impactful shapes and chromatic range of Memphis’ glassworks and to express Fondazione Berengo’s commitment in promoting the elegance and versatility of Murano’s glassmaking.
MEMPHIS – Plastic Field is open every day – 10am-6.30pm – until November 25 at Palazzo Franchetti – San Marco 2847, 30124 Venice.
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