Maggiore Design
Image, form and style

September 24 - October 5, 2016

Maggiore Design – G.A.M Galleria d'Arte Maggiore, under the direction of Roberta Calarota and Simonetta Vespa, will participate to the second edition of Bologna Design Week, presenting in its exhibition space in via d'Azeglio 15 an accurate selection of sculptures, furniture and artistic objects produced in limited edition or unique pieces. All these works of great value are realized by first class personalities coming from the world of design and architecture, like Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, Simone Crestani, Marcello Morandini, and of the art field, like Mimmo Paladino, Pablo Echaurren, Bertozzi & Casoni, and also Arman, Hsiao Chin, Louis Cane, César, Louise Nevelson, Aldo Rontini, Nedo Merendi and Tomo Hirai. The exhibition reveals the deep research in the field of image, form and style which is behind the presented works, where the contemporary world and the classical nature confront each other to show the infinite possibilities that only high quality design can offer.

Maggiore Design – G.A.M. Galleria d'Arte Maggiore chooses to participate to the second edition of Bologna Week Design with an exhibition that aims to present design through new forms of interpretation, strictly tied to the idea of freedom and artistic creativity.

Among the furniture, a specific attention is paid to the table section. Alessandro Mendini is one of the leading protagonists of the exhibition with the magnificent “Golden Gate”, which brings to mind the famous californian bridge with its vivid red structure with a sandblasted glass surface upon it, turning into the base for an explosion of graffiti, stylistic features and free words.
Another very interesting work is “Bubble Consolle” by Simone Crestani, a young artist that has already conquered the national and international world of design thanks to his sophisticated use of a particular technique of glassblowing, which allows him to challenge the laws of physics and create unexpected and innovative dialogues with other materials. “Bubble Consolle” is a true celebration of lightness and transparency, with its surface in olive wood lying upon an almost invisible structure of delicate glass bubbles.
In the cabinet section, among the most intriguing proposals there are those by Mimmo Paladino: his sideboards, with black and white variations and the unfading charm of gold, are inspired by the “Battle of St. Roman” by Paolo Uccello. The same colour contrast can be found in the sideboard “Contenuta” (“Contained”), presented by Marcello Morandini, who is also the author also of two chair seats, “Risoluta” (“Resolute”) and “Posseduta” (“Possessed”). In all these three pieces the rigidity of the typical Morandini's black and white lines is softened by elegant curves which, in the case of the chairs, create an almost full circle.

In the objects and sculptures section, the exhibition is enhanced by the sophisticated objects by Ettore Sottsass, who is always in search of new expressive ways that could melt together the symbolic and the ritual worlds, and by Arman, with his sharp and ironic “Quatre étages de conversation” (“Four floors of conversation”), in which sectioned ceramic jugs seem to dialogue and chase each other on the wooden shelves in a new interpretation of the “accumulations” that made him famous back in the mid Sixties. César, another protagonist of the Nouveau Réalisme, shared with him this investigation of the object, but, unlike Arman, he always preferred the activity of compression and decompression. In the exhibited ceramic the material seems squashed, as if it had survived torments that leaved indelible marks.
The exhibition also aims to show how many artists, among those presented, operate between the recovery of ancient traditions and concessions to modernity. This is very clear in the works by Mimmo Paladino, who created a series of ten vases inspired by the Iliad and the Odyssey, showing the artist's attraction towards the mythological themes. A more general love for archaism can be easily found in “Disco”, a huge disk that becomes a table, and in the sculputure “Dormiente” (“Sleeper”). He often includes Greco-Roman and Etruscan symbols and references to ancient traditions of his native land, the South of Italy, a land historically famous for its contaminations of people and cultures. Louise Nevelson moves in the same direction: in “The big cat”, the figure of a feline emerges from a compact and solid block of terracotta painted in black where it is not difficult to find echoes of archaic and tribal cultures, as well as remembrances of Mesoamerican art and ancient Egyptian dynasties. Such powerful and suggestive roots as those of South America can't help influencing Pablo Echaurren, who can boast a polyhedric production, inserted inside an unstoppable research of new languages and new forms of expression, which benefits from the contrasts between “high” and “low”, seriousness and lightness, lucidity and irony, that the artist constantly creates. For this occasion he proposes a majolica plate, named playfully “Bar-rito”and decorated with monochromatic grotesque motifs in blue. Louis Cane continues on this path of irony and search for lightness to break the classical language of sculpture dealing with the themes of our everyday contemporaneity. With Aldo Rontini we enter a world on the border between myth, reality, nature and symbol, from which soft and fluid figures come out, conciliating formal exercises of figurative synthesis with a meticulous research of details. The same attention for details make unique the works of Bertozzi & Casoni, always full of incomparable technical mastery and a volcanic creative fantasy. In the ceramics of Nedo Merendi a certain rétro style is part of his true and genuine poetics, while Tomo Hirai is inspired by the forms of the Renaissance School of Faenza and combines the Japanese sensibility to the Italian experience. Hsiao Chin is another artist that brings us in an oriental world made of meditation and silence, with his plates in which the colour leaves an elegant sign onto the pure surface of ceramics.

The exhibition therefore highlights the power of experimentation and dialogue between the knowledge of the past, taken as a starting point, and the contemporary language; the result is an interpretation always capable to surprise with original and unexpected forms.

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