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ETTORE SOTTSASS
Stereo Cabinet No. 1, 1994 Wood and Steel 87 1/4 x...

Stereo Cabinet No. 1, 1994
Wood and Steel
87 1/4 x 59 x 40 1/4 inches
221.6 x 149.9 x 102.2 cm
Edition of 6

One of the most significant counter-forces to modernism in design history, Ettore Sottsass brought his powerful artistic vision to a comprehensive range of disciplines: architecture, ceramics, furniture, glass, painting, photography, and industrial design. 

 
Born in Innsbruck, Austria in 1917 and raised in Turin, Sottsass graduated from Turin University in 1939 with a degree in Architecture. Immediately upon graduation, he was drafted into the Italian army during WWII. In the early part of his career spanning six decades, Sottsass moved skillfully between industrial design and independent experimentation. His bright red Valentine portable typewriter (1968) is only one well known example from a huge range of products he realized for his most important corporate client, the office goods manufacturer Olivetti for whom he also realized prescient designs for computing workstations. During this time he was creating ceramics and furniture of great spiritual intensity, synthesizing modernist abstraction with forms from ancient cultures.
 
This syncretic approach, at once progressive and primordial, informed his contribution to the seminal exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972, and his involvement in a number of avant garde groups and projects, including Global Tools, Studio Alchimia, and the Milanese avant garde project Memphis, which he founded in 1981. Through his design firm Sottsass Associati he also maintained a practice as a product designer, for Alessi among others, and as an architect, in a series of retail spaces for Esprit as well as private residences.
 
In the last fifteen years of his life, Sottsass achieved a new level of heightened craftsmanship moving away from the industrial materials and methods that were his focus for the majority of his career. During this time, he realized bodies of work marked by an appreciation for rarefied materials—from blown-glass and ceramic objects to large-scale wooden and metal cabinets. Informed by his careful observation of design traditions and mastery of form and proportion, each work continued his exploration into the social and cultural implications of contemporary design that characterized his career.
 
Through these diverse activities, Sottsass established a distinctive and expansive design vocabulary, composed of seeming oppositions up until his death. His work is extraordinarily deep in its cultural references, yet delighted in a beguiling play of surfaces. Sottsass’ abstractions had latent anthropomorphism; his forms are both playful and monumental. The dialectical complexity of his thought—grounded in the idea that design can have an remarkable range of expression—was revolutionary. Sottsass left behind a prolific compilation of essays and scholarship, all of which continue to influence designers around the world today. 
 
Sottsass’ work can be found in the permanent collections of numerous international museums, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Corning Museum of Glass, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; M+ Museum, Hong Kong, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Sottsass died in 2007 in Milan, Italy.

 

Download Artist's CV
What Would Have Been - Exhibitions
November 5 - December 12, 2020
Friedman Benda, New York, NY | Online
Comfort - Exhibitions
Curated by Omar Sosa
January 9 - February 15, 2020
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Summer - Exhibitions
June 20 - July 26, 2019
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Blow Up - Exhibitions
Curated by Felix Burrichter
January 10 – February 16, 2019
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
dna10 - Exhibitions
May 4 - June 10, 2017
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Static - Exhibitions
Curated by Glenn Adamson
January 10 - February 11, 2017
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Ettore Sottsass 1955 - 1969 - Exhibitions
September 10 - October 17, 2015
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Sottsass - Exhibitions
Galerie Azzedine Alaïa
May 15 - 25, 2014
Paris, France
Ettore Sottsass: A Survey, 1992-2007 - Exhibitions
June 18 - August 10, 2012
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Winter Group Show - Exhibitions
January 19 - February 14, 2012
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Ettore Sottsass: Un Piccolo Omaggio a Mondrian - E...
November 4 - December 18, 2010
Friedman Benda, New York
Ettore Sottsass: Antichi - Exhibitions
November 5 - December 19, 2009
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Ettore Sottsass - Exhibitions
Archetypes 1965 - 1995
May 1 - June 21, 2008
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
In Their Own Words - Exhibitions
February 23 - March 31, 2008
Friedman Benda and Demisch Danant, New York, NY
Ettore Sottsass - Exhibitions
New Works: 2005 - 2007
September 19 - October 27, 2007
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
Ettore Sottsass: 1953 - 1969 - Publications
Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce, Shiro Kuramata: 19...
Living with Freaky Furniture - Press
Living with Freaky Furniture
The New York Times
March 12, 2020
TEFAF Maastricht 2020 - Press
TEFAF Maastricht 2020
The Design Edit
March 3, 2020
“Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory” Retro...
“Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory” Retrospective to Open at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami
Interior Design
April 11, 2019
12 Extraordinary Pieces to See at Design Miami 201...
12 Extraordinary Pieces to See at Design Miami 2017
Vogue Paris
December 11, 2017
Artists' Artists: Best of 2017 - Press
Artists' Artists: Best of 2017
Artforum
December 2017
Cent’anni sul pianeta Sottsass. A Milano - Press
Cent’anni sul pianeta Sottsass. A Milano
Artribune
September 17, 2017
Ettore Sottsass, filosofo - Press
Ettore Sottsass, filosofo
IL Magazine
September 15, 2017
Andrea Branzi Remembers Ettore Sottsass - Press
Andrea Branzi Remembers Ettore Sottsass
Modern Painters
September 13, 2017
7 Creatives on Ettore Sottsass, the Genius Who Des...
7 Creatives on Ettore Sottsass, the Genius Who Designed the '80s
CNN
August 31, 2017
Lionizing Ettore Sottsass as a Postmodern Maestro...
Lionizing Ettore Sottsass as a Postmodern Maestro
1st Dibs: Introspective Magazine
August 21, 2017
From Furniture to Jewellery, Ettore Sottsass’ Re...
From Furniture to Jewellery, Ettore Sottsass’ Revolutionary Legacy is an Eclectic One
Wallpaper*
July 27, 2017
A Polymathic Italian Designer, With Muses and Frie...
A Polymathic Italian Designer, With Muses and Friends
The New York Times
July 26, 2017
Met Breuer Contextualises Ettore Sottsass' Colourf...
Met Breuer Contextualises Ettore Sottsass' Colourful Designs
dezeen
July 25, 2017
'Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical' Review: A Cosmop...
'Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical' Review: A Cosmopolitan Creator
The Wall Street Journal
July 25, 2017
Ettore Sottsass's Impertinent Genius - Press
Ettore Sottsass's Impertinent Genius
The New Yorker
July 24, 2017
This One Man Colored the 1980s in Pastel - Press
This One Man Colored the 1980s in Pastel
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 24, 2017
Explore the Genius of Design Pioneer Ettore Sottsa...
Explore the Genius of Design Pioneer Ettore Sottsass in His Breathtaking Retrospective
Artnet News
July 24, 2017
This Architect's Radical Works Have Blurred - Pres...
This Architect's Radical Works Have Blurred
Architectural Digest India
July 24, 2017
It's Sottsass World, and We're Just Living In It -...
It's Sottsass World, and We're Just Living In It
La Stampa
July 17, 2017
Vitra Celebrates Ettore Sottsass' Legacy as a Desi...
Vitra Celebrates Ettore Sottsass' Legacy as a Design Rebel, Poet, and Photographer
Wallpaper*
July 20, 2017
Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical - Press
Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical
daniellaondesign.com
July 19, 2017
What You Need to Know about Memphis Design Pioneer...
What You Need to Know about Memphis Design Pioneer Ettore Sottsass
July 17, 2017
Artsy Editorial
On View: Contradictions of Designer-Architect Etto...
On View: Contradictions of Designer-Architect Ettore Sottsass
Wall Street Journal
July 7, 2017
Ettore Sottsass Exhibition to Open at The Met Breu...
Ettore Sottsass Exhibition to Open at The Met Breuer
Architect Magazine
July 6, 2017
See the 10 Hottest Objects at This Year's Design M...
See the 10 Hottest Objects at This Year's Design Miami/ Basel
Artnet News
June 16, 2017
Highlights from Design Miami/Basel 2017 - Press
Highlights from Design Miami/Basel 2017
Galerie Magazine
June 15, 2017
The Importance of Being Ettore Sottsass - Press
The Importance of Being Ettore Sottsass
The Art Newspaper
June 15, 2017
Highlights from Design Miami/Basel - Press
Highlights from Design Miami/Basel
The Telegraph
June 12, 2017
Beyond Memphis - Press
Beyond Memphis
Architectural Digest
June 2017
Friedman Benda at Design Miami/ Basel 2017 - Press
Friedman Benda at Design Miami/ Basel 2017
Blouin Artinfo
May 22, 2017
Shifting Objectives: Design From the M+ Collection...
Shifting Objectives: Design From the M+ Collection
Art Asia Pacific
May/June 2017
Ettore Sottsass, la passion de la céramique - Pre...
Ettore Sottsass, la passion de la céramique
Architectural Digest
April/May 2017
Best Collection - Press
Best Collection
Wallpaper
February 2016
The Collector's Edit: 15 Rooms With Artfully Displ...
The Collector's Edit: 15 Rooms With Artfully Displayed Collections
1stdibs
January 6, 2016
Ettore Sottsass - Press
Ettore Sottsass
Artforum
January 2016
Reviews in Brief: Ettore Sottsass - Press
Reviews in Brief: Ettore Sottsass
Modern Painters
December 2015
3 Unsung, Pre-Memphis Designs From Ettore Sottsass...
3 Unsung, Pre-Memphis Designs From Ettore Sottsass
Fast Co.Design
October 1, 2015
Crasign? Deraft? At Friedman Benda, Ettore Sottsas...
Crasign? Deraft? At Friedman Benda, Ettore Sottsass Makes a Design-Craft Hybrid
Artnet News
October 8, 2015
Ettore Sottsass: 1955-1969 - Press
Ettore Sottsass: 1955-1969
area
October 2, 2015
Friedman Benda Advances Design - Press
Friedman Benda Advances Design
Introspective Magazine
September 28, 2015
23 Amazing Art Exhibitions In America - Press
23 Amazing Art Exhibitions In America
The Culture Trip
Fall 2015
The Pure and Personal Modernism of Ettore Sottsass...
The Pure and Personal Modernism of Ettore Sottsass: A Conversation with Jim Walrod
The Line
September 18, 2015
8 Great Design Shows for Fall 2015 - Press
8 Great Design Shows for Fall 2015
artnet news
September 8, 2015
A Landmark Show Examines Ceramics by Ettore Sottsa...
A Landmark Show Examines Ceramics by Ettore Sottsass
Modern Magazine
Fall 2015
Beyond Design - Press
Beyond Design
Blouin Art + Auction
September 2015
On the Prowl: Design and Art Dealer Marc Benda on...
On the Prowl: Design and Art Dealer Marc Benda on Ferreting Out the Distinctive
Cultured Magazine
Fall 2015
Rare Works from Ettore Sottsass at Friedman Benda...
Rare Works from Ettore Sottsass at Friedman Benda
Woman Around Town
September 19, 2015
Early Show: A New York Exhibition Celebrates Sotts...
Early Show: A New York Exhibition Celebrates Sottsass' pre-Memphis Moves
Wallpaper
October 2015
5 Must-See Gallery Shows in New York: Ron Nagle, K...
5 Must-See Gallery Shows in New York: Ron Nagle, Keegan McHargue, and More
Blouin Artinfo
September 21, 2015
The Beginning of Greatness - Press
The Beginning of Greatness
We Heart
September 2015
New York Exhibition Examines the pre-Memphis work...
New York Exhibition Examines the pre-Memphis work of Ettore Sottsass
Dezeen Magazine
September 11, 2015
Gallery Showcases Rare Ettore Sottsass Designs - P...
Gallery Showcases Rare Ettore Sottsass Designs
The Wall Street Journal
September 9, 2015
Exhibit "Ettore Sottsass: 1955-1969" - Press
Exhibit "Ettore Sottsass: 1955-1969"
Surface Magazine
September 2015
50 Must-See Fall Exhibitions - Press
50 Must-See Fall Exhibitions
ARTSY
August 25, 21015
In NY, Early Works by Ettore Sottsass - Press
In NY, Early Works by Ettore Sottsass
Architects + Artisans
June 04, 2015
Why a Once Hated Design Movement Is Making A Comeb...
Why a Once Hated Design Movement Is Making A Comeback
Gizmodo
July 11, 2014
A New Monograph Highlights the Prolific Career of...
A New Monograph Highlights the Prolific Career of Architect and Designer Ettore Sottsass
Architectural Digest
June 4. 2014
Memphis revival: the 1980s design movement gains f...
Memphis revival: the 1980s design movement gains fresh momentum with new shows and fashion collections
Wallpaper
May 21, 2014
Ettore Sottsass: the godfather of Italian cool - P...
Ettore Sottsass: the godfather of Italian cool
The Guardian
May 17, 2014
The Highs of Salon: Art + Design, From Art Deco to...
The Highs of Salon: Art + Design, From Art Deco to the Aztecs
Blouin ArtInfo,
November 15, 2013
In Residence: Jean Pigozzi - Press
In Residence: Jean Pigozzi
NOWNESS,
July 29, 2013
Ettore Sottsass: 1992-2007 at Friedman Benda - Pre...
Ettore Sottsass: 1992-2007 at Friedman Benda
Dezeen,
June 23, 2012
Munari Signature Jewelry - Press
Munari Signature Jewelry
tl.mag,
April, May, June 2012
Curator's Eye - Press
Curator's Eye
Modern Magazine,
Spring 2012
The High Road - Press
The High Road
Modern Magazine,
Spring 2012
The Insider: Lorry Dudley - Press
The Insider: Lorry Dudley
Modern
Summer 2011
Kuramata, Sottsass: the importance of dreams and l...
Kuramata, Sottsass: the importance of dreams and love
domus,
February 3, 2011
This is Not A Love Song - Press
This is Not A Love Song
Frieze Magazine,
February 12, 2008
Elder Statesman of Italian Design - Press
Elder Statesman of Italian Design
Architectural Record,
January 10, 2008
Il re del Made in ItalyIl Tempo - Press
Il re del Made in ItalyIl Tempo
Il Tempo,
January 2, 2008
Il mondo colorato di Sottsass - Press
Il mondo colorato di Sottsass
Il Sole,
January 2, 2008
Il mondo di Sottsass genio ed eccesso Corriere del...
Il mondo di Sottsass genio ed eccesso Corriere della Sera
Corriere della Sera,
January 2, 2008
Ettore Sottsass, Born 14 September 1917, Innsbruck...
Ettore Sottsass, Born 14 September 1917, Innsbruck, Died 31 December 2007 Milan
January, 2008
Molto Mario - Press
Molto Mario
Times Style Magazine,
Fall, 2008
Ettore Sottsass at Friedman Benda: Still a Rebel a...
Ettore Sottsass at Friedman Benda: Still a Rebel at 90
Miami Home,
October, 2007
What We're Seeing - Press
What We're Seeing
House and Garden,
October, 2007
Next Train to Memphis? - Press
Next Train to Memphis?
I.D.,
September, 2007
Ettore Sottsass: A Life in Colour - Press
Ettore Sottsass: A Life in Colour
ICON,
April, 2007
Goin back to Memphis - Press
Goin back to Memphis
New York Times Style Magazine,
Fall, 2007
Ettore Sottsass Interview Wallpaper - Press
Ettore Sottsass Interview Wallpaper
Wallpaper,
August, 2006
Ettore Sottsass: Redefining Modernity Modernism Ma...
Ettore Sottsass: Redefining Modernity Modernism Magazine
Modernism Magazine,
Spring, 2006
A Man Who Could Find Passion in a Typewriter - Pre...
A Man Who Could Find Passion in a Typewriter
The New York Times,
April 2, 2006
From Milan to LACMA - Ettore Sottsass - Press
From Milan to LACMA - Ettore Sottsass
Antiques And The Arts Weekly,
March 17, 2006
Ettore Sottsass, Ritratti di Coppia, Portraits of...
Ettore Sottsass, Ritratti di Coppia, Portraits of Paris
domus,
January 2006
Ettore Sottsass at Barry Friedman - Press
Ettore Sottsass at Barry Friedman
Art in America
March, 2005
Bird House - Press
Bird House
Weekend L'Express
2003
Master Mind - Press
Master Mind
Metropolitan Home
November, 2000
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