Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci of DIMOREGALLERY have staged a cutting-edge, conceptual, ironic and highly impactful site-specific installation for Mazzoleni London. The unexpected and layered set up showcases extraordinary objects, design pieces and works of art from the Mazzoleni inventory. The concept was formed from suggestions that were found in Britt Moran’s and Emiliano Salci’s eclectic energy, a constantly evolving creative explosion.
The project coincides with the London Design Festival, 16–24 September 2017, and introduces a new series of exhibitions at Mazzoleni London entitled ‘Mazzoleni Invites’. Each year the gallery invites creative practitioners from the fields of design, fashion or architecture to respond to its collection of Italian Modern and Post-War art. Britt and Emiliano have been inspired by Post-War Italian art for many years and ‘Mazzoleni Invites: DIMOREGALLERY | (UN)COMFORT ZONE’ follows previous collaborations between the art gallery and the design duo, on Fendi’s Palazzo Privé in Rome and on DIMORESTUDIO’s presentation at the 2017 Salone del Mobile.
For ‘(UN)COMFORT ZONE’ the Mazzoleni exhibition space has been reimagined to amaze and provoke: five rooms, hidden behind walls, capture the visitor’s eye, inviting observation through portholes with brass detailing. This voyeuristic act allows indiscreet peeping into inhabited, colour- redolent, plush interiors, where classic and contemporary intertwine to perfection. The set-up mixes conventional and unexpected objects, as in a lived-in environment. It deliberately eschews orthodox categories, a typical trait of the duo’s creativity, and includes a range of artworks from across Mazzoleni’s inventory. Works from Italian Post-War masters such as Getulio Alviani (b. 1939), Agostino Bonalumi (1935–2013), Alberto Burri (1915–1995), Dadamaino (1930– 2004), Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) and Paolo Scheggi (1940-1971) appear alongside later works by artists including Fausto Melotti (1901–1986), Turi Simeti (b. 1929) and Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933), as well as works by Post-War artists from outside Italy, including Victor Vasarely (1906– 1997).
Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci have said:
“Our choice of the Mazzoleni artworks draws from our approach: the need to juxtapose, to channel our eclectic creativity, our trademark use of colour, our mood. We decided on these works of art as if we were buying for ourselves, with the same passion and energy.”
The environment includes a dressing room, a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom and a dining room – five distinct spaces, full of contrasts: edgy, streamlined furniture; cool textures; carpets; antique objects; works of art; lights; old and new trinkets; bold and saturated colours dominate the unconventional set up.
The dressing room is furnished with Mod.1943 wall lamps by Max Ingrand produced by FontanaArte, Armadio 098 Progetto Non Finito collection by DIMORESTUDIO –mahogany structure with wooden printed doors and mirror details– a dressing table in maple and brass and its armchair by Paolo Buffa, Lampada 114 Progetto Non Finito Collection in painted metal and bronze details. Mazzoleni artworks feature throughout the installation and here, in particular, a pink layered oil painting by Paolo Scheggi dating from 1969 interacts with the dressing room. Scheggi is becoming increasingly recognized for his pioneering role in the development of Post- War art and this work is typical of his deconstruction of the physical plane, where he exposed the physical rather than the representational aspects of painting.
The living room showcases a 1969 yellow shaped canvas by Agostino Bonalumi, a characteristic confluence of object and painting, as well as three works from the 1960s by Getulio Alviani, who is known for his optical-kinetic works. Two of his Cerchi Virtuali series, made from intersecting steel and chromed copper rings, are contrasted with Superficie e Testura Vibratile (1962), which combines eight aluminum panes, each polished surface interacting differently with the light. The room is also equipped with Poltrona 102 Progetto Non Finito collection in brushed steel, fabric and fringes, Confidential sofa by Alberto Rosselli produced by Saporiti upholstered in emerald green velvet, two Fungo table lamps by Gabriella Crespi, a floor lamp by Goffredo Reggiani in brass and cast iron base, a sculptural wood bent chaise longue by Marcel Breuer, Cityscape low table by Paul Evans, wooden structure covered with brass and chrome faces, a set of 3 hanging lamps by Gino Sarfatti produced by Arteluce, with glasses by Archimede Seguso.
The bedroom contains a pair of Trilobo series wall lamps manufactured by Venini – lacquered steel structure, crystal bars – an Italian ‘Salottino’ comprising two armchairs, a pair of 1950s beds with wooden structure, two Cityscape screens, unique pieces, by Paul Evans, a pair of 1940’s Italian wall mounted consoles, a pair of Mod.G 1842 floor lamps by Josef Frank. The room also presents a 1989 acrylic on canvas by Victor Vasarely, the Hungarian-French leader of the Op art movement, which was to emerge out of Futurism and Constructivism in the 1960s. Mernoek (1989) depicts a snowflake-shaped polyhedron made up of varying quadrilaterals displaying the colour spectrums of grey, green and purple. It is a work typical of its genre, creating the impression of movement and vibration via optical illusion. The room also contains a large-scale steel Alviani, Rilievi Speculari a Elementi (1968).
The bathroom comprises, the Mini Arco console by BBPR in black wood and iron, a toilet set by Gio Ponti for Ideal Standard, a Mod. P600 table lamp by Gino Sarfatti, a Bouquet wall lamp by Hans Koegl, a Mod.T-792/MF ceiling lamp by Hans Aagne Jakobsson produced by Markaryd. It also features a silkscreen on polished super mirror stainless steel by Pistoletto, depicting a birdcage draped in a cloth, its inhabitant hidden from view. This image appears layered above the mirrored surface, typical of Pistoletto’s works of the 1960s and 1970s. There is also a black Burri cellotex from 1970.
The dining room contains a set of 4 wall lights produced by Stilnovo in brass and lacquered aluminum, the Lampada 108 in brass and silk, from the Progetto Non Finito collection, a liquor cabinet in wood and glass by Osvaldo Borsani, a table by Ignazio Gardella with iron and brass structure with black Marquina table top, and four armchairs Locus Solus by Gae Aulenti for Poltronova. The design also comprises a Bonalumi Nero from 1964, a recent work by Turi Simeti from 2006 and two works of waterpaint on canvas by Dadamaino, both from 1960.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.