Sottsass in Milan

Curated by Barbara Radice, the exhibition “There is a Planet”, on show at the Triennale di Milano, marks the centenary of the birth of Ettore Sottsass.

Ettore Sottsass. There is a Planet", veduta della mostra, Triennale di Milano, 2017
Marking the centenary of the birth of Ettore Sottsass (Innsbruck 1917–2007 Milan), the Triennale Design Museum is presenting a monographic exhibition devoted to him in the spaces of the Galleria dell’Architettura. It will be accompanied by a book and a catalogue. The title of the exhibition, and of the book, “There is a Planet”, is that of a project that Sottsass started in the 1990s for the German publisher Wasmuth, but never completed. The project for the book, now published by Electa , was to form five groups of photographs taken by Sottsass on his travels around the world, each with its own title and essay. The photos would be of architecture, houses, doors, people and situations involving dwellings and, in more general terms, the presence of humans on the planet.

 

The main body of the exhibition, which extends across nine rooms, revolves around nine themes, based on an analysis of the archive volumes of Sottsass’s writings. Each theme/room and group of works is accompanied by brief quotations from his writings, thus closely following the journey of his endeavours and of his wide-ranging, eclectic activities: architecture, drawing, design, photography, painting, objects, furniture, sculptures, glassware, ceramics, publishing, and writings.

Img.15 "Ettore Sottsass. There is a Planet", exhibition view, Triennale di Milano, 2017
Img.15 "Ettore Sottsass. There is a Planet", exhibition view, Triennale di Milano, 2017
The names of the themes are taken from the titles of writings, objects or works selected as the linchpin-names around which one can imagine Sottsass’s work being organised. These are not precise periods of time, even though they do vaguely coincide with some dates, but rather of moods and trends that crowd together and fade one into the other, linking up to those before and after. Along the walls of the Gallery that gives access to the rooms, there are works of the same period as those in the rooms on one side, and on the other a selection of photographs behind the great master’s design. A series of previously un-exhibited photographs from the early 1960s, called The Girls of Antibes , will also be on display.
Img.16 "Ettore Sottsass. There is a Planet", exhibition view, Triennale di Milano, 2017
Img.16 "Ettore Sottsass. There is a Planet", exhibition view, Triennale di Milano, 2017

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