Marking Moroso’s 60th year, David Harrison explores an exhibition examining the nexus of visual art and design
November 13th, 2012
It seems appropriate that Moroso would choose the new Casa Cavazzini exhibition space for contemporary art in Udine rather than a more obvious venue in Milan to celebrate 60 years of their groundbreaking furniture designs.
Udine may not be a household name but it is the birthplace of many great Italian furniture brands including Mattiazzi and Gervasoni and of course, Moroso.
The company has championed the talents of the world’s most creative designers since working with Massimo Iosa Ghini and Antonio Citterio in the eighties, but since 2004 with the help of Andrea Bruciati, Moroso has actively collaborated with artists and in 2010 initiated an award for contemporary Italian artists.
M’Afrique Intallation featuring works of Patricia Urquiola, Toord Boontje and birsel + seck
Sushi Installation featuring works of Edward Van Vliet
Wishing to avoid the chronological display that is the usual basis of company milestone exhibitions, Moroso has instead opted for a vibrant assemblage of models, prototypes, mistakes and one off pieces, exhibited along side the work of artists who have collaborated with Moroso over the years such as Francesco Simeti and Tobias Rehberger.
Joining the mix are also the current crop of artist’s selected to compete for the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art. ’I prefer to celebrate the future with an exhibition which is all about life and change, a coming together and contamination with art’ says Patrizia Moroso, art director of Moroso.
The company, which was started in 1952 by Patrizia’s mother and father Augostino and Diana Moroso, has under her artistic direction, embraced artists from all sorts of disciplines including graphic arts, sculpture and fashion.
Ron Arad’s move from one off metal sculptures to production furniture in the early nineties, for example, was most successfully expressed in his ’Soft Big Easy’ and ’Soft Little Heavy” designs for Moroso. Arad remains one of the company’s key designers and part of an ever growing family that includes Patricia Urquiola, Front, Tokujin Yoshioka, Tord Boontje and Nipa Doshi.
What sets the brand apart however, is it’s ability to discover designers at just the right time in their career and encourage their development though the company’s open desire to experiment. Once a designer or artist’s talent has been spotted by Patrizia, the approach tends to be ’let’s start and see where it takes us’.
The Metamorphis exhibition is a true reflection of this attitude with one of the former recipients of the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art, Martino Gamper, creating an installation specifically for the exhibition. Using existing moulded foams from Moroso upholstery pieces, Gamper has reshaped, cut and spliced them to create a futuristic mash up of Moroso designs.
“I’ve never asked a designer to make a piece for me” says Patrizia, “I’ve always asked them to try to imagine a world”
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