Ettore Sottsass’s Impertinent Genius

July 14, 2017

The game-changing Austrian-Italian designer Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) was ambivalent about retrospectives. “It’s like having a birthday party where too many relatives show up,” he once said. That family is about to expand. On July 21, the Met Breuer opens a six-decade survey of Sottsass’s impertinent genius, from the lipstick-red typewriter he conceived for Olivetti, in 1969, to his gonzo work with the Milan-based Memphis design group, in the early eighties (including the “Carlton” room divider, pictured above).

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