Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical | Met Exhibitions

Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical | Met Exhibitions


(din of crowd) (single piano note) CHRISTIAN LARSEN:
“Ettore Sotsass: Design Radical” is the first design show that
The Met Breuer will present. Sotsass was an Italian architect
and designer who, over the course
of his 60-year career, completely changed our notion
of design. He was breaking the rules. He was trained as a modernist, but he brought empathy, joy,
emotion, surprise, wonder into his objects. This career survey draws from
across The Met’s collections, looking to ancient cultures
and civilizations, ritual objects and artifacts, as the basis for Sotsass’
own practice. He was hugely inspired
by these objects. He really could design it all,
and he did it in every medium. Furniture is probably
his first love. He was really interested
in the transformation that a material would undergo
under extreme heat, so ceramics and glass were
of particular interest to him. He’s known for
the Valentine typewriter. This was one of the first real
pop consumer objects. It influenced the imaginations
of a whole generation of designers who came
after Sotsass. In 1981, he starts “Memphis”
with a group of young designers. They famously matched colors that we would never
put together, crazy patterns. He actually believed
that colors were like words and they expressed emotions. The Met Breuer represents
the height of Modernism, and Sotsass’ career was about
the revision of that form of design,
of giving it color, of giving it life. So, to find Sotsass’ work in the heart of that building is going to be
a really beautiful contrast. (upbeat music playing)

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