The National Museum of Decorative Art and the Italian Cultural Institute of Buenos Aires present the exhibition ““Design Italiano. La bellezza della vita quotidiana tra Italia e Argentina” (Italian Design. The beauty of everyday life in Italy and Argentina). From 23 September 2022 to 29 January 2023, some of the most significant and iconic objects in the history of Italian design from the post-war period to the present day will be on exhibited. The Italian Cultural Institute of Buenos Aires, promoter and organiser of the event, commissioned Silvana Annicchiarico to curate the project, with the aim of providing an extensive and detailed overview of the main evolutionary lines that have characterised the history of Italian design from 1945 to the present day.
According to the curator, the objects in the exhibition were selected for their originality of design, innovation of technologies or materials, and ability to capture and represent the style and culture of a specific era, offering a testimony of how design, in Italy in the second half of the 20th century, embodied the democratic dream of bringing beauty into everyone’s life.
The exhibition is split into chronological sections covering the major phases of contemporary Italian history. It brings together pieces from world-famous designers, from Gio Ponti to Ettore Sottsass, Michele De Lucchi, Vico Magistretti, Bruno Munari, Gaetano Pesce and Marco Zanuso, and features iconic objects such as Gae Aulenti’s Pipistrello lamp, Alessandro Mendini’s Proust armchair and the Neapolitan coffee maker designed by Riccardo Dalisi for the brand Alessi.
As stated by Donatella Cannova, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute and general coordinator of the project,
the exhibition aims to recount the ability of the Italian design system to provide answers to emerging societal needs from the post-war period to the present, proposing solutions suited to the “spirit of the times”, contextualised and participating in a process of redesigning the world, starting with the idea that inspired the object’s creation.
An innovative aspect of the exhibition is that it establishes a dialogue between icons of Italian design and significant pieces of Argentine design, so that the visitor can easily appreciate their similarities and differences, as well as how certain objects or items of furniture have evolved and transformed in both cultures, which are called to confront each other through these artefacts that populate everyday life.
The pieces that make up the Argentine Design Section come from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires and carry the exhibition journey from the 1950s through to the 1980s and 1990s. Highlight pieces include those created by icons of Argentinean design such as pioneers Susi Aczel and Horacio “Bucho” Baliero, Reinaldo Leiro, Ricardo Blanco and Herman Loos.
A bilingual book-catalogue has also been born out of this project, enriched by an even wider selection of iconic Italian design pieces, which is intended to act as a reference for the ongoing development of the relationship between Italy and Argentina.
Silvana Annicchiarico. An Architect, art curator, lecturer, who also works in the fields of criticism and research. She is a member of the Technical-Scientific Committee for Museums and the Cultural Economy of the Ministry of Culture and a contributor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A professor at ISIA University, she also writes for the newspaper La Repubblica and the magazine Domus. Since 1998 she has been curator of the Permanent Collection of Italian Design at the Milan Triennale, where she was also Director of the Design Museum between 2007 and 2018.
For more information, please go to: iicbuenosaires.esteri.it.