Ettore Sottsass. Le pagine

12 October 2017 / in

Curated by Elena Volpato
Palazzo Birago
November 3 – 12, 2017

The exhibition “Ettore Sottsass. Le pagine” celebrates the centennial of Sottsass’s birth and the unlimited creativity of an artist who, more than others, truly expressed himself through books and magazines, each time reinventing the shape, the meaning, and the function of the printed page. The display will offer visitors a chance to see the entire production of Sottsass’s books, periodicals and pamphlets: from the epic stenciled copies of Room East 128. Chronicle dated 1962, to the catalogs for the Memphis Group, from magazines, such as Pianeta Fresco, to visual essays, from the lithographic and photographic books, to the calligraphy practice of Kena Upaniᶊad. All his publications were interspersed in time with the series of new year cards and augural prints that Sottsass and his associates mailed every year, also on view.
Sottsass always proved himself capable of creating some different form, be it the most basic slip of paper or the most complex editorial designs. He shaped the pages anew, based on his original thinking and on the meaning to be delivered, in order to find, and hand over to the reader, a true reciprocation between meaning and form, between expressing the lettering and the page layout and expressing himself, his own personality—which meant expressing what his mind created each time, through a constant life practice, looking and researching the world, ultimately conveying his indefatigable reading of the world.
Books, magazines, and pamphlets are displayed one next to the other, following the natural flow of time and the unfolding of the author’s life thus revealing how, in this amazing heap of publications, in this inexhaustible imagination inspired by fascinations, chances, shapes and colors, the common trait, the true fil rouge, is Sottsass’s reverberating individuality, as he responded with a new music to life’s encounters. Encounters which he was constantly seeking, be it people, cultures, places, materials or artworks.