Enzo Mari

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Enzo Mari

1023 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles , CA 90024
April 10th, 2008 - June 27th, 2008
Opening: April 10th, 2008 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Mon-Fri 10-1, Sat 10-2


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 counterparts."

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 Urban Design).

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.

After the 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.

On April 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.

One of 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.

The 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.