Our adoration for Memphis Milano design is deeply rooted. Once it became known to us that these lovely designs were still being produced in the same factories as their originals throughout the mid-1980s, our interest was piqued. We explored the availability of these quintessential pieces within New York and found a void. It is therefore with great excitement that we have the pleasure to showcase the designs of Ettore Sottsass, Peter Shire, Martin Bedin, Michele De Lucchi, Maria Sanchez, and Matteo Thun at our boutique in Brooklyn.
Memphis Milano started in the 1980s when Ettore Sottsass and a group of twenty or so architects and designers from all over the world gathered together with a unified intention. This intention was to question, create and craft furniture and other household objects with a new mindset. The idea to step away from conventions was taken to its extreme, not merely referencing art, décor, functional objects, etc. but to riff on them, distort them, cut, paste, combine and twist them far enough from their starting point that they transformed into something new. Each member of the Memphis group tackled this unified drive in a different way. Materials they used included wood, metal, enamel, laminate, ceramic, textiles and lighting and were often utilized in new combinations, putting a refreshing spin on familiar substances.
The collective used their creative voice to question the normative styles in home décor at the time, and played with the role of household objects within spaces. Promoting “functionality as a respect for a cultural vision, a public necessity, a historical thrust.” The goal was experimentation, which later became known as an iconic style; “The New International Style” was born. With delight and some surprise, Memphis became renown and prized by many famous collectors.
As stockists for Memphis Milano, we carry a selection of tables, lamps and porcelain items. Our role as a gallery for these conceptual home goods also allows us to offer pieces by special order from the current Memphis catalog. Familiar pieces can be found at Atelier Mira like the Tahiti table lamp by Ettore Sottsass, the Brazil table by Peter Shire, and the Cucumber vase by Martin Bedin. For a different outlook on life introduce yourself, or reunite, with some of the world’s most historically forward-thinking home décor.
There is much to be said about Memphis Milano and the history of Ettore Sottsass (we highly recommend the book ‘Ettore Sottsass Exercizes’ about his work by Alberico Cetti Serbelloni Editore). We also found this video by NYC gallerists Joseph Sheftel and Koenig & Clinton to be thoughtfully informative, care of Blouinartinfo.com.