fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
 
fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
mar 05, 2010

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition

‘l’oro fa male’
antique gold finish, 30cm x 18cm (diameter), limited edition of 10 pieces

designboom visited the exhibition ‘variations on a theme’ which is currently being shown
at spazio fornasetti in milan. it will run until april 3, 2010.

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
left: ‘flora’ , green embossed polka-dots, 30cm x 18 cm (diameter), limited edition of 6 pieces
right: ‘l’oro fa male’
image © designboom

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘variations on a theme’ exhibit at spazio fornasetti, milan
image © designboom

the limited edition vase collection entitled ‘variations on a theme’ is produced by the
italian company bitossi ceramiche.
the ‘freak’ vases are all offsprings of piero and barnaba fornasetti‘s designs.
originally, a chalk mould of a vase designed by piero fornasetti in the 50s was found in
the cellar by his son barnaba. although, it never made its way into production,
it soon became the starting point for this current exhibition.

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘giara’, white vase with handles, 30cm, limited edition of 49 pieces
image © designboom

each vase is a variation of the original chalk mold with changes made to decoration
or form, thus, helping to give each piece its own personality.vases are also given nicknames
such ciccio (chubby), smilzo (skinny), bitorzolo (lumpy), flora, l’antipatico (the unpleasant)
to further pronounce the individuality of each design.

‘variations’ wrote gio ponti, in his introduction to the exhibition – an expression of
piero fornasetti 250 variations on a woman’s face -, ‘is not just a high motive or musical
exercise; it is an intellectual traditions and virtuosity of the imagination.’

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘bianco bacio’
image © designboom

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘tea time’, white vase with tea-pot on the head and cup, 30cm, limited edition of 10 pieces
image © designboom

‘a stimulating experience came from observing closely the skills of the craftmen, the kindness
of cinzia bitossi and giampaolo monti and our mutual understanding, which allowed me
to make a small contribution, a ‘variation’, even on a ‘theme’ of their own history. on some
vases I’ve worked with colors, finishes and textures; on others I’ve enjoyed playing with
the shape, finding variations practical uses as for the table, the lamps or the teapot.
the choice of edition (a limited edition, a one-off pieces or a prototype) was dictated not
so much from commercial needs but from real practical issues to create the piece itself.
this whole experience is destined to develop in the future, therefore the catalogues gives
a partial overview of what has been done so far which will be available until the piece
sell out. the ‘minitature’ series is an unlimited edition and it will be integrated into production
with the new bestsellers.
‘ – barnaba fornasetti

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘lanterna’, table lamp, 30cm, limited edition of 99 pieces
image © designboom

some of the vases will form part of an installation with the tailored-surrealist dresses
designed by librorio capizzi reusing classic fornasetti wallpapers, fabrics and ties.

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘paglietta’, white vase with boater, limited edition of 10 pieces
image © designboom

milan painter, sculptor and interior decorator piero fornasetti first used the iconic wood cut
image in the 1952. the face belonging to famous cinema actress lina cavalieri has since
been manipulated , modified, cut , trimmed, disguised, perforated, tatooed and bandaged
throughout the many decades of his work. fornasetti’s son barnaba has perpetuated
the tradition of his father by continuing production and reviving the most popular pieces.

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
left: ‘organico’, organic finish, 30cm x 18cm (diameter), limited edition of 50 pieces
right: ‘rosso serraturo’
image © designboom

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘reggilibri’, 40cm, one-off piece
image © designboom

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
‘reggilibri’

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
freaks family

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
original sketches by barnaba fornasetti
image © designboom

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
original sketches by barnaba fornasetti
image © designboom

fornasetti: variations on a theme exhibition
original sketches by barnaba fornasetti
image © designboom

  • hmmm…interesting divergence of ideas here; to my eye this is quite delightful, and seem to offer function as well. I haven’t looked at the price point, ( I’m sure I can’t afford them) but should cost always inform appreciation? For me, it’s more the way the pieces made me feel- strangely reassured was one feeling, ‘inspired’ another. Also, these images are part of very popular set of rubber stamps for crafters/artisans. Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt- to me they are like comfort food for the eye.

    pasha
  • is this real design for life???
    is this something we really need today.

    why dont you put it into art instead.

    it is the same crap as ikea, just limited edition.
    and 10x more expensive.

    logo

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