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Ettore Sottsass Building and Garden Elements

Italian, 1917-2007
Italian, 1917-2007

An architect, industrial designer, philosopher and provocateur, Ettore Sottsass led a revolution in the aesthetics and technology of modern design in the late 20th century.

Sottsass was the oldest member of the Memphis Group — a design collective, formed in Milan in 1980, whose irreverent, spirited members included Alessandro Mendini, Michele de Lucchi, Michael Graves and Shiro Kuramata. All had grown disillusioned by the staid, black-and-brown “corporatized” modernism that had become endemic in the 1970s. Memphis (the name stemmed from the title of a Bob Dylan song) countered with bold, brash, colorful, yet quirkily minimal designs for furniture, glassware, ceramics and metalwork. They mocked high-status by building furniture with inexpensive materials such as plastic laminates, decorated to resemble exotic finishes such as animal skins. Their work was both functional and — as intended — shocking. Even as it preceded the Memphis Group's formal launch, Sottsass's iconic Ultrafragola mirror — in its conspicuously curved plastic shell and radical pops of pink neon — embodies many of the collective's postmodern ideals.

Sottsass's most-recognized designs appeared in the first Memphis collection, issued in 1981 — notably the multihued, angular Carlton room divider and Casablanca bookcase. As pieces on 1stDibs demonstrate, however, Sottsass is at his most imaginative and expressive in smaller, secondary furnishings such as lamps and chandeliers, and in table pieces and glassware that have playful and sculptural qualities.

It was as an artist that Ettore Sottsass was celebrated in his life, in exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 2006, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art a year later. Even then Sottsass’s work prompted critical debate. And for a man whose greatest pleasure was in astonishing, delighting and ruffling feathers, perhaps there was no greater accolade. That the work remains so revolutionary and bold — that it breaks with convention so sharply it will never be considered mainstream — is a testament to his genius.

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Creator: Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass Set of Two Planters for Poltronova, Italy, circa 1961
By Poltronova, Ettore Sottsass
Located in Carpaneto Piacentino, Italy
Ettore Sottsass set of two stained wood planters for Poltronova, Italy, circa 1961 This rare set is composed by two brown large plant holder and is combined with another set compose...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Ettore Sottsass Building and Garden Elements

Materials

Satinwood, Wood

Ettore Sottsass Set of Wood Planters for Poltronova, Italy, c. 1961
By Ettore Sottsass, Poltronova
Located in Carpaneto Piacentino, Italy
Ettore Sottsass set of six stained wood planters for Poltronova, Italy, c. 1961 This rare set is composed by six green medium plant holder and is combined with another set composed b...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Ettore Sottsass Building and Garden Elements

Materials

Satinwood

Italian Mid-Century White Wooden Planter by Ettore Sottsass for Poltronova, 1961
By Ettore Sottsass, Poltronova
Located in MIlano, IT
White square planter by Ettore Sottsass for Poltronova, 1961 White square planter composed of rectangular wooden strips painted in white. Produced by Poltronova in the 1960s and desi...
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1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Ettore Sottsass Building and Garden Elements

Materials

Wood

Ettore Sottsass Set of Three Blue Planters for Poltronova, 1961
By Ettore Sottsass, Poltronova
Located in Brussels, BE
Ettore Sottsass set of three blue planters for Poltronova, 1961.
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Ettore Sottsass Building and Garden Elements

Materials

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Rare Ettore Sottsass Plant Holder for Poltronova, Italy, 1962
By Ettore Sottsass, Poltronova
Located in Milan, IT
Ettore Sottsass Plant holder for Poltronova, Italy, 1962 Rare extra-large Ettore Sottsass plant holder.
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1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Ettore Sottsass Building and Garden Elements

Materials

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Previously Available Items
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Ettore Sottsass Planter for Poltronova in Green Wood, 1961
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Ettore Sottsass Planter for Poltronova, circa 1960, Italy
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Ettore Sottsass planter for Poltronova, circa 1960, Italy. Light grey painted wood. Dimensions: 36 cm H, 36 cm W, 36 cm D. Good original condition.
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Ettore Sottsass building and garden elements for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs Ettore Sottsass building and garden elements are available for sale. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Ettore Sottsass building and garden elements, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are 7 vintage versions of these items in stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original building and garden elements by Ettore Sottsass were created in Italy during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider building and garden elements by Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Gio Ponti and Poltronova. Prices for Ettore Sottsass building and garden elements can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $1,388 and tops out at $9,251, while pieces like these can sell for $3,225 on average.

Recent Sales

Mid-Century Red Planters by Ettore Sottsass for Poltronova, Italy 1961
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Ettore Sottsass Orange Stained Wood Planter for Poltronova, Italy, 1961
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Ettore Sottsass Planter for Poltronova in Green Wood, 1961
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Ettore Sottsass Planter for Poltronova, circa 1960, Italy
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Ettore Sottsass planter for Poltronova, circa 1960, Italy. Light grey painted wood. Dimensions: 36 cm H, 36 cm W, 36 cm D. Good original condition.
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