The Year in Visual Culture
Early example of this important vase produced in 1982. This very piece traveled with the Memphis exhibition to most venues from Memphis, Tennessee to the Cooper Hewitt in New York. It was also displayed in the Grace Designs showroom and has remained in our founder's collection. Despite its active travel schedule, its condition is truly remarkable. A vintage museum quality work, made by the original glass masters who collaborated directly with Sottsass and the Memphis designers. Murano, a tiny island near Venice, has been the historic repository of Italy's glassmaking tradition. For centuries it was closed to visitors in order to protect its legendary techniques. Ettore Sottsass and Marco Zanini collaborated with Murano glassblowers to produce Memphis's first array of glass as part of the 1982 Memphis Collection. The pieces, all named for star constellations, required technical mastery far beyond their simple appearance. The hot-formed glass perfectly captures the gesture of the original drawing, yet variations in the hand technique ensure that each example is unique. Examples of Sirio are in the permanent collections of many museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Series: Early version in series - not numbered
Signature: Signed MEMPHIS MADE IN ITALY BY TOSO VETRI D'ARTE on base.
Image rights: The Modern Archive
Manufacturer: Memphis/Milano and Toso Vetri D'Arte
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 of New Design by Barbara Radice
An Italian architect and designer known for his large oeuvre including furniture, jewelry, glass, lighting, and office design, Ettore Sottsass was also the founder in the early 1980s of the Memphis Group. Drawing inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, Memphis produced and exhibited furniture and objects that were vibrant in color and futuristic in design. Sottsass’ own work was known for its variety, oftentimes incorporating playfulness through ornamentation and color. His Olivetti typewriter (1969), one of his most celebrated designs, made of bright red-orange plastic, was a Pop phenom in both its functionality and innovative design. His architecture and design career spanned many decades and styles.
Italian, 1917-2007, Innsbruck, Austria, based in Milan, Italy
The Year in Visual Culture
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