The Italian Cultural Institute of
Los Angeles presents a special design exhibition showcasing over sixty
objects created by Enzo Mari and produced by Alessi, Artemide, Danese,
Driade, Kartell, Poltronafrau, Zani&Zani, Zanotta, Muji, Hida
Sangyo, Magis, and Robots.
"We are truly honored to host this
design exhibition in our Gallery," says Francesca Valente, Director of
the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Los Angeles. "I have been following
Enzo Mari's work since the beginning of his career. The exhibition we
organized is not only a tribute to a talented artist, but also to
Italian design as the highest expression of Made in Italy. It
is based on the fruitful interaction between the companies involved in
the project, the designer himself and the Italian Cultural Institute.
We worked successfully in a triangular team, and this endeavor shows
how vital it is to have cultural institutions interact with commercial
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual
catalogue with a preface by master architect Hitoshi Abe, Chair of the
Department of Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA and appreciations by
Massimo Vignelli and Mark Lee (UCLA Department of Architecture and
The presentation at the Italian Cultural
Institute is especially fitting as the Institute already hosts
artifacts by Gio Ponti, Tobia Scarpa, Vico Magistretti, Achille
Castiglioni, Alessandro Mendini and Mario Bellini.
exhibition debuts in Los Angeles, Enzo Mari's work will travel to the
Istituto Italiano di Cultura in New York, Chicago, Washington, Toronto,
and San Francisco. At the end of the tour, the collection will be
donated to one or more major museums in Los Angeles.
10 at 7pm, Francesca Valente, Director of the Instituto di Cultural,
will give Enzo Mari A Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his
outstanding efforts in the field of design before the designer lectures
on his work and career.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
the most thoughtful and intellectually provocative Italian designers of
the late 20th century, Enzo Mari (Novara, 1932-) has proven as
influential to younger generations of designers as to his peers as a
writer, teacher, artist and designer of products, furniture and puzzle
games. Sociological and perceptual aspects play an important
theoretical role in Mari's work. Not content with being just an artist
and industrial designer, Enzo Mari is always preoccupied with the role
of object design in everyday living and the function of the designer.
In 2001 he published the work Progetto e Passione where he
expected every designer "to define his own model of an ideal world." A
designer not only has the task of designing aesthetically satisfying
products for mass production; each and every design had to be useful,
serve a purpose, and do justice to the materials used.
ABOUT THE IIC
Istituto Italiano di Cultura (IIC) in Los Angeles, directed by
Francesca Valente, is one of five government cultural agencies
established in the United States by the Italian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. Founded in 1984, the Institute acts as a cultural intermediary
between Italy and the US, in a multifaceted perspective. The IIC is a
center for cultural and academic activities, a school of Italian
language and culture, and a center for art exhibitions, film screenings
and videos. In 2007, The Italian Cultural Institute was awarded the Premio Impresa e Cultura,
an honor granted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to one of
the 90 Institute's worldwide recognizing the Institute that presents
the most outstanding cultural programming. Italian Cultural Institute
is located in a prestigious Hilgard building designed by Robert
Alexander, once partner of Richard Neutra.
Spazio Italia is the gallery at the Institute, presenting art, photography, architecture, and design exhibitions.