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Hyatt Side Table by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano, Italy, circa 1984
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Hyatt Side Table by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano, Italy, circa 1984

About

Ettore Sottsass (1917–2007) was an Italian architect and designer during the 20th century. His body of work includes furniture, jewellery, glass, lighting and objects, as well as many buildings and interiors. He is perhaps most celebrated as the founder of the Memphis Group, famous for its colourful and flamboyant furniture, ceramics and lighting pieces, brought back into attention recently with the much anticipated auction of David Bowie’s private Memphis collection. This side table is simple in form and construction. Made using a red wood laminate that covers both the chunky cylinders that form the tables top and base. These elements are held apart by a series of four metal columns that hint at classical architectural forms. The table is in good condition.  

Details

  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading.
  • Dimensions
    H 16.54 in. x Dm 16.93 in.H 42 cm x Dm 43 cm
  • Diameter
    16.93 in. (43 cm)
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Seller Reference Number
    F152
  • Reference Number
    LU1420217443682
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About Ettore Sottsass (Designer)

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.

     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 these pages 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.

About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2015
Typical response time: 12 hours
Located in London, GB
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