Ettore Sottsass & the Memphis Group
Inside a Collector's Home
November 24, 2017 - February 23, 2018
Grieder Contemporary is delighted to present the exhibition: Ettore Sottsass and The Memphis Group – Inside a Collector’s Home, marking the official inauguration of its new gallery space in Kusnacht / Zurich.
After extensive renovation and extension works by Fuhrimann & Hächler architects, the newly built annex of the Modernist villa is now ready to welcome Grieder Contemporary's first exhibition in Küsnacht with works by Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group. The exhibition will show-case masterpieces of the acclaimed designer and artist Ettore Sottsass, as well as other objects by members of the Memphis Group sourced from an original private interior collection from the early 1980s. Original vintage furniture and objects will send us back in time and allow us to immerse our-selves in a collector's household, a living environment transferred in its entirety to a gallery space.
Ettore Sottsass founded Memphis in 1980 together with former colleagues from Studio Alchimia and a younger generation of architects and designers. In 1981 it counted among its members Michele de Lucchi, Matteo Thun, Marco Zanini, Aldo Cibic, Andrea Branzi, Shiro Kuramata, Michael Graves, Javier Mariscal, Barbara Radice, Martine Bedin, George J. Sowden, Masanori Umeda and Nathalie du Pasquier.
Memphis, named after a Bob Dylan’s song: Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, was a successful attempt to kickstart a radical change and emancipation from the international Modernist Style of the 1960s. The group wanted to promote an innovative aesthetic, opening up to fashion and international artistic movements of the moment, such as Pop Art. By introducing a wide new range of colours, shapes, patterns and material into their design, they successfully managed to harmonise elements of a low mass culture with high end arts.
The design objects presented in the exhibition were part of a private collection assembled in the early 1980s. During this time the collector discovered Sottsass’s works for Olivetti and witnessed the birth of Memphis. Here began a great passion. In the early months of 1982 until the end of 1987, he collected, assembled, arranged, and remodelled his whole interior with new vibes, shapes, colours and materials, all signed by Ettore Sottsass and members of Memphis.