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Memphis Group Tables

Italian

To many people, postmodern design is synonymous with the Memphis Group. This Italian collaborative created the most radical and attention-getting designs of the period, upending most of the accepted standards of how furniture should look.

The Memphis story begins in 1980, when Ettore Sottsass, then a beacon of Italian postmodernism, tapped a coterie of younger designers to develop a collection for the Milan Furniture Fair the next year, determined that all the new furniture they were then seeing was boring. Their mission: Boldly reject the stark minimalism of the 1970s and shatter the rules of form and function. (Sottsass’s Ultrafragola mirror, designed in 1970, embodied many of what would become the collective’s postmodern ideals.)

The group decided to design, produce and market their own collection, one that wouldn’t be restricted by concerns like functionality and so-called good taste. Its debut, at Milan’s 1981 Salone del Mobile, drew thousands of viewers and caused a major stir in design circles.

So as a record of Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile” played on repeat, they took their name from the song, devised their marketing strategy and plotted the postmodern look that would come to define the decade of excess — primary colors, blown-up proportions, playful nods to Art Deco and Pop art. A high-low mix of materials also helped define Memphis, as evidenced by Javier Mariscal’s pastel serving trays, which feature laminate veneer — a material previously used only in kitchens — as well as Shiro Kuramata’s Nara and Kyoto tables made from colored glass-infused terrazzo.

An image of Sottsass posing with his collaborators in a conversation pit shaped like a boxing ring appeared in magazines all over the world, and Karl Lagerfield furnished his Monte Carlo penthouse entirely in Memphis furniture. Meanwhile, members like Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele de Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier, Kuramata, Paola Navone, Peter Shire, George Sowden, Sottsass and his wife, journalist Barbara Radice, went on to enjoy fruitful careers.

Some people think of the Milan-based collective as the design equivalent to Patrick Nagel’s kitschy screenprints, but for others Memphis represents what made the early 1980s so great: freedom of expression, dizzying patterns and off-the-wall colors.

Eventually, the Reagan era gave way to cool 1990s minimalism, and Memphis fell out of fashion. Sottsass left the group in 1985, and by 1987, it had disbanded. Yet decades later, Memphis is back and can be traced to today’s most exciting designers.

“As someone who was born in the 1980s, Memphis at times feels like the grown-up, artsy version of the toys I used to play with,” says Shaun Kasperbauer, cofounder of the Brooklyn studio Souda. “It feels a little nostalgic, but at the same time it seems like an aesthetic that’s perfectly suited to an internet age — loud, colorful and utilizing forms that are graphic and often a little unexpected.”

Find a collection of vintage Memphis Group seating, tables, decorative objects and other furniture on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Memphis Group
Ettore Sottsass & Marco Zanini for Leitner Donau Collection Bed and Nightstand
By Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano, Marco Zanini, Memphis Group
Located in Forney, TX
A rare and iconic Italian post-modern Donau Collection bed and matching nightstand designed by master architect and furniture designer Ettore Sottsass (Austria/Italy, 1917-2007) in collaboration with Marco Zanini (Milan, Italy; b.1971) for Leitner Interior Design, circa 1988. Scarce design, bold and dramatic, sculptural-form, exceptionally executed in bird’s-eye maple lacquered and laminated wood, including blue accents and columns that offer a visually striking contrast. Retaining the original manufacturer's label, signed, 195/88. Provenance / Acquisition: Acquired from highly reputable auction house Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas. Design Signature Auction catalog #8110 Dimensions: (approx) Bed: (Twin XL...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Laminate, Wood

Flamingo Bedside Table, by Michele De Lucchi for Memphis Milano Collection
By Michele de Lucchi, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Flamingo bedside table in laminated wood and plastic, designed in 1984 by Michele De Lucchi. Michele De Lucchi was born in 1951 in Ferrara and graduated in architecture in Florence. During the period of radical and experimental architecture he was a prominent figure in movements like Cavart, Alchymia and Memphis. His architectural designs have been mainly for office buildings in Japan, in Germany, in Switzerland and in Italy. He has taken care of numerous art and design exhibitions and has planned buildings for museums as Triennale di Milano, Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma and Neues Museum...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood, Plastic

Kristall End Table, by Michele De Lucchi for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Michele de Lucchi, Memphis Milano
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Kristall end table in plastic laminate, lacquered wood and metal. Designed in 1981, by Michele De Lucchi for Memphis Milano. Michele De Lucchi was born in 1951 in Ferrara and gradu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Plastic, Wood

Michele de Lucchi Burgundy Writing Dining Table For Memphis Milano Italy, 1985
By Michele de Lucchi, Memphis Group
Located in Vienna, AT
Iconic dining table, laminated wood and steel, Michele de Lucchi 'Burgundy' table Memphis Italy, 1985. Dimensions are: 61" x 41.3" x 28.74" (height). Rare dining- or office table d...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Steel

Holebid Briar Coffee Table, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Holebid coffee table in briar and plastic laminate, is designed in 1984 by Ettore Sottsass. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. In 1939 he graduated in architecture at th...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood, Plastic

Mimosa End Table with Glass Top, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Mimosa end table in plastic laminate with glass top, designed in 1984, by Ettore Sottsass. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. In 1939 he graduated in architecture at the...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Glass, Plastic

Polar Side Table, by Michele De Lucchi for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Michele de Lucchi, Memphis Milano
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Polar side table was originally designed by Michele De Lucchi in 1984 for Memphis Milano. It is made out of plastic laminate and lacquered wood. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Plastic

Arquitectonica 1984, Madonna Table, Desk for Memphis Milano, Postmodern Miami
By Memphis Milano, Arquitectonica, Memphis Group
Located in Munster, NRW
Madonna table by Arquitectonica Miami for Memphis Milano, 1984. Iconic an extremely rare postmodern piece and one of the only Memphis Group productions whose design was commissione...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood

Hyatt Metal and Wood Table, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Hyatt table designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1984 for Memphis, in metal and laminated wood. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. In 1939 he gradu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Metal

Hollywood Steel Coffee Table, by Peter Shire for Memphis Milano Collection
By Peter Shire, Memphis Group, Memphis Milano
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Hollywood laminated and lacquered steel coffee table, designed in 1983 by Peter Shire. Peter Shire is a Los Angeles artist. Shire was born in the Echo Park district of Los Angel...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Steel

Ivory Side Table, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Shiro Kuramata, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Ivory side table has a beautiful contrasting laminate pattern, designed in 1984 by Ettore Sottsass. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 191...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Glass, Plastic

Madras Table, by Nathalie du Pasquier, from Memphis Milano
By Nathalie du Pasquier, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Madras table has a beautiful contrasting laminate pattern top, designed in 1986 by Nathalie du Pasquier. Nathalie du Pasquier was born in Bordeaux...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Laminate

City Chrome-Plated Steel Table, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
City table, designed in 1983 by Ettore Sottsass, is a laminated composite board with chrome-plated steel, and enameled aluminum. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. In 19...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Steel, Aluminum

Tartar Table, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Tartar Table in laminated wood was originally designed in 1985, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano. Ettore Sottsass was born in ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood

Madonna Wooden Table, by Arquitectonica for Memphis Milano Collection
By Arquitectonica, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Madonna table in lacquered wood, designed in 1984 by Arquitectonica. Memphis is the great cultural phenomenon of the 1980s that revolutionized creative and commercial logics in design. Born from the idea of Ettore Sottsass and a group of young designers and architects, in Milan, coupled in the years by famous designers from the international scene...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood

Bombay Side Table, by Nathalie du Pasquier, from Memphis Milano
By Nathalie du Pasquier, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Bombay side table has a beautiful contrasting laminate pattern top, designed in 1986 by Nathalie du Pasquier. Nathalie du Pasquier was born in ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Laminate

Continental Wood Side Table, by Michele De Lucchi for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Michele de Lucchi, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Continental side table designed in 1984 for Memphis, in laminated wood and plastic. Michele De Lucchi was born in 1951 in Ferrara and graduated...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood, Plastic

Brazil Side Table, by Peter Shire for Memphis Milano Collection
By Peter Shire, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Brazil side and console table in lacquered wood, was originally designed in 1981 by Peter Shire. Peter Shire is a Los Angeles artist. Shire was born in the Echo Park district o...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood

Freemont Gilded Wood Console, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Freemont gilded wood console in wood, plastic laminate and aluminum. Designed in 1985, by Ettore Sottsass. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck i...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood, Plastic

Peninsula Metal and Glass Side Table, by Peter Shire for Memphis Milano Collect.
By Peter Shire, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Peninsula side table in metal and glass, was originally designed in 1982 by Peter Shire for Memphis Milano. Peter Shire is a Los Angeles artist. Shire was born in the Echo Park...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Metal

Kyoto Metal and Terrazo End Table, by Shiro Kuramata for Memphis Milano Collect.
By Shiro Kuramata, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Kyoto end table in metal and terrazzo, designed in 1983 by Shiro Kuramata. Shiro Kuramata studied architecture at Tokyo Polytechnic in Tokyo unti...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Metal

Emerald Side Table, by Nathalie du Pasquier for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Nathalie du Pasquier, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Emerald Sideboard in wood, plastic laminate and mirror, designed by Nathalie Du Pasquier in 1985. Nathalie du Pasquier was born in Bordeaux, France,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood, Plastic

Memphis Table By Shiro Kuramata Sally Glass Chrome Rolling Table, 1987
By Memphis Group, Shiro Kuramata
Located in Vienna, AT
Round rolling table sally by Shiro Kuramata for Memphis, 1987 Dimensions are 30.31" x 23.35" x 23.35" Iconic table 'Sally' by Shiro Kuramata, Japan, 1987 for Memphis. Comprised of ...
Category

1980s Japanese Post-Modern Vintage Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Palm Springs Briar Dining Table by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Palm Springs dining table, in briar and plastic laminate was originally designed in 1984, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood, Plastic

Alcor Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Alcor Glass Vase was designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1983 for Memphis. Signed on the base. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. In 1939 he graduated in architecture at...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Glass

Mandarin Table, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Mandarin table in plastic laminate, metal and glass, designed in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. In 1939 he gr...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Glass, Plastic

Fortune Side Table, by Michele De Lucchi for Memphis Milano Collection
By Michele de Lucchi, Memphis Milano, Memphis Group
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Fortune Side table in plastic laminate, lacquered wood and glass. Designed in 1982, by Michele De Lucchi. Michele De Lucchi was born in 1951 in Ferrara and graduated in architectur...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood, Plastic

Peter Shire Memphis Milano Brazil Table in Lacquered Wood, Italy, circa 1981
By Memphis Group, Peter Shire
Located in New York, NY
Peter Shire (b. 1947) An imaginative and dynamic architectural console, dining table, and desk by Peter Shire for Ettore Sottsass' Memphis Group. A striking interplay of geometric f...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood

Amazon Cabinet, by Marco Zanini for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Memphis Group, Marco Zanini
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
The Amazon Cabinet in reconstituted veneer and lacquered wood, was originally designed in 1985 by Marco Zanini for Memphis Milano. Marco Zanini was born in Trento in 1954. He gradu...
Category

2010s Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Wood

Memphis Group: Three Nesting Tables by Marco Zanini, Enameled Steel, Italy 1980s
By Memphis Group, Marco Zanini
Located in New York, NY
Marco Zanini (b. 1954) A rare and striking set of three early square geometric nesting tables by Italian tastemaker Marco Zanini, co-founder with Ettore Sottsass of the Memphis Milano Group. In electric blue enameled steel crowned by a chromed railing. With an asymmetrical Art Deco severity in a Fisher...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Enamel, Steel, Chrome

Nara Serving Table, by Shiro Kuramata for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Shiro Kuramata
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Shiro Kuramata 1983 Service table made with the traditional technique of terrazzo in concrete conglomerate and coloured glass. Nara perfectly combines the Japanese aesthetic traditi...
Category

2010s Italian Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Concrete

Hilton Metal and Glass Trolley, by Javier Mariscal for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Memphis Milano, Javier Mariscal
Located in La Morra, Cuneo
Hilton trolley in lacquered metal and crystal glass, designed in 1981 by Javier Mariscal. He was born in Valencia in 1950. In 1971 he moved to Barcelona to study Graphic Design at the Elisava School. There he came into contact with comic book writers and illustrators of the time, such as Mique Beltrán, Daniel Torres and Sento. Together they set up "El rollo enmascarado", a group specialized in underground comics. In the 1980s, he worked as interior designer. In these he collaborated with Memphis Among his best known works are Cobi, the mascot for the 1992 Olympic...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Tables

Materials

Metal

Memphis Group tables for sale on 1stDibs.

Memphis Group tables are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Memphis Group tables, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 7 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 26 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original tables by Memphis Group were created in the modern style in italy during the 21st century and contemporary. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider tables by Cara e Davide, Stefano Giovannoni, and Giorgetti S.p.A.. Prices for Memphis Group tables can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $1,958 and can go as high as $23,720, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $5,800.
Questions About Memphis Group Tables
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Numerous artists and designers were in the Memphis Group. Ettore Sottsass founded the collective and served as its leader. Other members included Aldo Cibic, Andrea Branzi, Javier Mariscal, Martine Bedin, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Michael Graves, Michele De Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier, Peter Shire and Shiro Kuramata. You'll find a range of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Memphis Group was an art and design collective formed in 1980 by Ettore Sottsass. The group debuted in 1981 and continued working together until 1987, producing furniture, decorative objects and textiles. Shop a selection of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Italian designer Ettore Sottsass founded the Memphis Group in 1980 to fulfill his vision of having a team of like-minded designers collaborating to produce unique furniture and decorative objects. In 1981, the group held their first exhibition and continued to design together until 1987. You'll find a selection of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Memphis Group was created by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass to bring together artists and designers with similar visions. He hoped to combine the ideas of all the members and create single furniture and decorative object designs under one name. You'll find a collection of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Memphis Group designed a wide variety of items from 1980 to 1987 when the collective was active. Their designs included furniture and textiles as well as decorative objects made out of ceramics, metal and glass. Shop a collection of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Memphis Group formed in 1980 when Italian designer Ettore Sottsass invited fellow artists and designers to band together and create a collective. In 1981, the group debuted with a show in Milan, Italy, and continued to collaborate until disbanding in 1987. You'll find a variety of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Memphis Group got its name from the Bob Dylan song "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again." During the group's first meeting led by Italian designer Ettore Sottsas the song was on repeat, and the gathered artists and designers drew inspiration from the title. You'll find a variety of Memphis Group furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Memphis Group debuted their designs in 1981 with an exhibition at the Salone del Mobile of Milan in Milan, Italy. Although many people criticized their designs at the time, the design group developed a cult following that boasted famous creatives like fashion designer Karl Lagerfield and musician David Bowie. Shop a variety of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Memphis Group had an eclectic style created by combining the creativity of numerous artists and designers. Its furniture, textiles and decorative aspects blend elements of Pop Art and Art Deco design. Shop a range of Memphis Group furniture at 1stDibs.

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