Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
In compliance with the D.P.C.M. of November 3, 2020, Triennale Milano closes to the public until December 3, 2020 and continues its online programming, through a series of formats and content, gathered under the title Triennale Upside Down, which will be published on the institution’s website and social channels.
Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli is the Triennale‘s great retrospective dedicated to the work and thought of Enzo Mari, designer and artist of international fame who recently passed away, documented through projects, models, drawings and materials from the Mari Archive, lately donated to CASVA – Centro di Alti Studi sulle Arti Visive del Comune di Milano.
The exhibition, born from the constant intellectual exchange between Mari and the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, recounts over 60 years of a design activity capable of intersecting art and design, architecture and philosophy, didactics and graphics.
The exhibition project is divided into a historical section, curated by Francesca Giacomelli, which collects in chronological order a selection of about 250 projects by Mari, and in a series of contributions from international artists and designers – Adelita Husni-Bey, Tacita Dean, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Mimmo Jodice, Dozie Kanu, Adrian Paci, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Danh Vō, Nanda Vigo and Virgil Abloh for the merchandising project – invited to pay tribute to Mari through site-specific installations and new works. One contribution in particular is that of Nanda Vigo, whose work, made specially for the exhibition shortly before her death and never shown previously, uses light to reinterpret 16 animali and 16 pesci, two of Mari’s most famous works.
The heart of the exhibition is the historical section, where the author’s latest exhibition project Enzo Mari. L’arte del design, held at GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino in 2008-2009, has been rearranged. At the same time, nineteen Research Platforms, conceived for the exhibition at the Triennale, investigate as many projects from which emerge the central themes in Mari’s practice and poetics: the first investigations on perceptual ambiguities, the researches on experimental production and serial production, the theme of the standard. The video interviews made by Hans Ulrich Obrist complete the path, testifying to Mari’s constant ethical tension, his sensitivity of thought and his extraordinary ability to give shape to the essential.
The exhibition is also part of a series of major exhibitions put on by Triennale and its Museo del Design Italiano to examine the great masters of Italian design (Mario Bellini, Osvaldo Borsani, Achille Castiglioni and Ettore Sottsass). The journey will continue in April 2021 with an exhibition devoted to Vico Magistretti.