Frieze Masters 2023

Friedman Benda | Booth G09


Ettore Sottsass [Italian, 1917-2007] produced by Poltronova
Califfo (Model D. 84), 1964
Painted wood
25.5 x 78.75 x 31.5 inches
65 x 200 x 80 cm

          “An interest in abstract art and modern architecture helped Ettore Sottsass develop a unique artistic language that he applied to furniture and other designs, as well as to entire interiors. The design of the 1962 Califfo sofa was anticipated in the sofas and polychrome wooden partitions Sottsass created two years earlier when designing the foyer interior of the XII Triennale di Milano in 1960. The Califfo is derived from the simple and geometric form of an elongated cube. It is made of wood and equipped with seat and back cushions upholstered in a striped fabric. The stripes of the textile vary in width, echoing the rhythm of the slats of the wooden back and armrests. The depth of the seat as well as the abandonment of the usual hierarchy of a high back and lower armrests recall the stylistic repertoire of Art Nouveau. The Califfo, like almost all the domestic furniture designed by Sottsass up to 1974, was manufactured by Poltronova and also offered as a three-seater with different colour schemes.”
          — Fulvio Ferrari, Mateo Kries and Jochen Eisenbrand, Atlas of Furniture Design, Weil am Rhein, Germany: Vitra Design Museum, 2019, p. 582.

Select Exhibitions
La casa abittata: biennale degli interni di oggi. Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy. March 6 – April 25, 1965. (white wood frame and red cushion)

Poltronova exhibition. Centro Fly Casa, Milan, Italy, 1966.

Select Literature
J.P. Morris, Il nuovo arredamento / New Interiors / Die Neue Wohnungseinrichtung, Milan: Alfieri, 1964, pp. 60-61.

“Etttore Sottsass Jr.: Una Stanza da Letto,” Domus no. 426, May 1965, pp. 52, 55 (white wood frame and red cushion).

“In A Living-Room / Ettore Sottsass, architetto, Milano,” Domus no. 446, January 1966, pp. 24-26 (white wood frame and red cushion).

Catalogo produzione poltronova 1966/67, Pistoia: Poltronova, 1966, p. 15.

“Poltronova 1966/67,” Domus no. 442, September 1966, n.p. (Poltronova promotion)

“Una stanza nella stanza (a room within a room)”, Domus no. 457, December 1967, pp. 30-31, 33, 35 (apartment for Giovanni Lana, Milan, 1967).

Carlo Santini, Facendo Mobili con archizoom, asti, aulenti…, Florence, Italy: Poltronova Edizioni, 1977, p. 88.

Guia Sambonet, Ettore Sottsass: Mobili e Qualche Arredamento, exh. cat., Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori, 1985, p. 25.

Giuliana Gramigna, 1950/1980 Repertorio: Immagini e contributi per una storia dell’arredo italiano, Milan, Italy: A. Mondadori, 1985, p. 203 (white wood frame).

Hans Höger, Ettore Sottsass Jun. Designer, Artist, Architect, Tübingen: Wasmuth, 1993, pp. 79, 86 (white wood frame).

Milco Carboni (ed.), Ettore Sottsass Jr ’60-’70, France: FRAC Centre, Orleans in conjunction with Editions-HYX, 2006, p. 88.

Sally Schöne, Ettore Sottsass: auch der Turm von Babel war aus gabrannter Erde (and the Tower of Babel was also made of Terracotta), exh. cat., Cologne, Germany: Wienand, 2011, p. 94 (the apartment for Giovanni Lana, Milan, 1967).

Philippe Thomé, Ettore Sottsass, exh. cat., New York: Phaidon, 2014, pp. 173 (Poltronova exhibition at Centro Fly Casa, 1966), 176, 229 (the apartment for Giovanni Lana, Milan, 1967)

Francesca Belna Arista, Poltronova Backstage: Archizoom Sottsass and Superstudio, Italy: Fortino Editions, 2016, pp. 19-21.

Mateo Kries and Jochen Eisenbrand, Atlas of Furniture Design, Weil am Rhein, Germany: Vitra Design Museum, 2019, p. 582, no. 633.

Gean Moreno and Alex Gartenfeld, Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory, exh. cat., Munich; London; New York: Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami and Prestel Verlag, 2020, p. 141 (white wood frame).

Museum Collection
Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany (work from the same series)

Left Menu Icon