Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

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Lyndon Floor Lamp – Oluce (1977), Golem Chairs- Poggi (1968)

This past Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of attending Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment, one of two separate but interconnected exhibits, Vico Magistretti: The Functional Beauty, now on exhibit in Los Angeles. Within the private residence of the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles, The Living Environment  includes  works of renown Italian designer and architect, Vico Magistretti on loan from galleries and private collections.  Magistretti’s creations, which includes important works of furniture and lighting, are arranged throughout and organized as living spaces, enabling the works of art to be viewed in an actual living environment, and is designed to give the viewer a feel of how Magistretti would have envisioned his works in an Italian home.  It is a living installation rather than simply an exhibition.

Giuseppe Perrone, Consul General of Italy

Giuseppe Perrone, Consul General of Italy giving the introduction. | Image via Allan Dallatorre

The evening’s event was held to celebrate the opening of Vico Magistretti: The Functional Beauty, which opened to the public yesterday.  The exhibition is presented by the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles and the Italian Cultural Institute, in collaboration with Fondazione Vico Magistretti and is the first project in the Western United States dedicated to the celebrated architect and designer.

The evening’s show was the second in a series dedicated to Italian design.   Magistretti was a prolific Italian designer with an illustrious career, including significant collaborations with such Italian editors such as Artemide, Cassina, Flou, dePadova, and Oluce.  He was a master of merging form and function, and his designs were meant to be used and  not merely objects to be admired for its aesthetics. Even though they have an inherent sculptural quality and form is of great importance, first and foremost is function.

LA Design gang

Michel Dory of M. Dory Designs, Nicole Logan – Italian Renaissance Art Historian, Jeanne Chung, Allan Dallatorre of Hinge Decor, Amy Benton of Lily Preuss, Michael Fein of Miele USA | Image via Allan Dallatorre

LA Design

The ASID LA Gang: Vickie Reitz, Cindi Burnett (ASID LA President), Helen Misel, Fernando Diaz, Anne Wait  | Image via Allan Dallatorre

The Work of Vico Magistretti

With each piece showcased is Magistretti’s original sketch, which was made available by the Magistretti Foundation.  Some of these sketches were in pencil, others in ink, and some utilized bold strokes of color, but all demonstrate the creative process behind each work of art.  I have to admit that in many cases, I am more fascinated by the sketches than the actual product itself, because the sketches allow my analytical mind to put together the pieces and takes me through a journey. To me it is not so much about the final product, but understanding the creative process and how the designer carved the path to create the final product.

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Chimera (lighting), (1969) for Artemide

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Staodio 80 Table for Artemide(1970), Telegono Table Lamp for Artemide (1968), Selene Chair for Artemide (1969)

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Original sketch of the Selene Chair (1969)

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Lyndon Floor Lamp – Oluce (1977), Tessera #120 Table – Artemide (1972) Golem Chairs- Poggi (1968)

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Original sketches of the Tessera #120 Table

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Eclisse Table Lamps – Artemide (1966) sitting atop the Tessera #120 Table – Artemide (1972)

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Giunone Floor Lamp – Artemide (1970), Maralunga Sofa – Cassina (1973), Caori Table- Gavina (1961)

Vico Magistretti: The Living Environment

Original Sketch of the Caori Table

Vico Magistretti: The Functional Beauty – A Traveling Archive

As mentioned earlier, Vico Magistretti: The Functional Beauty consists of two separate but interconnected exhibits.  The other exhibition, which I have yet to see, is A Traveling Archive and is on view at the Italian Cultural Institute.  The exhibit consists of a series of sketches, letters, and important prototypes, which illustrate Magistretti’s creative process.

Dates: Friday, June 13, 2014-July 31, 2014

Hours: Monday through Friday: 9am-1pm and 2pm-5 pm, Saturday: 9am-1pm

Where: The Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, 1023 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles 90024

Please note that the photos that I’ve posted are from Vico Magistretti:  The Living Environment and is on view at the residence of the Consul General of Italy during special events only.

LA Design gang with Giuseppe Perrone, Consul General of Italy

LA Design gang- Jeanne Chung, Deric Schmidt, Giuseppe Perrone, the Consul General of Italy, Allan Dallatorre, Amy Benton, Michel Dory | Image via Allan Dallatorre

What a wonderful gathering on a warm (almost) summer evening in Beverly Hills.  Wonderful design, location, people, and did I mention the shoes?!?  Yes, I did find that there were fabulous shoes everywhere.  It was so hard to make eye contact during conversation because I could not help but stare down at all the fabulous shoes!  Kind of ironic that I happened to make a shoe fashion statement of my own that evening.  Having recently re-injured my ankle, I sported a fashionable plastic Aircast walking boot on one foot and a snakeskin peep-toe wedge pump on the other. Classic, I know, but that’s just how I roll…

A huge thank you to Allan Dallatorre of Hinge Decor for making it possible for me to attend this event and for providing me with many of the photos in this post!!

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