Ettore Sottsass

- Selected Works
- Biography

Ettore Sottsass junior was born in Innsbruck on September 14th 1917. After high school studies and a degree in architecture from the Polytechnic of Turin, obtained in 1939, Sottsass was enlisted and sent to Montenegro, where he remained for 6 years in a prison camp. In 1947 he began working in Milan in collaboration with his father, the architect Ettore Sottsass senior, and later opened his first Design studio. In 1948 he took part in MAC, Movimento di Arte Concreta, and participated as an artist in the first group show of the collective, again in Milan. Following the promotion of the Roman exhibition on Abstract Art in Italy, he also joined the Spatialism. In 1958 he began his important collaboration with Olivetti in the field of computer design, a union that would last almost 30 years. In 1966 he began the Radical Period, of which Sottsass is certainly one of the main protagonists. In 1972 he exhibited at the MoMA in New York in the group exhibition Italy: the new domestic landscape, curated by Emilio Ambasz. Five years later he achieved another success: he received an honorary degree from the Royal College of Art in London, after having held numerous conferences in England. In the meantime he also began to collaborate with several art galleries.

Particularly significant in Sottsass’s artistic career was the founding of the Memphis collective in 1981. The Group lasted six years, a few years during which the concept of Design was revolutionized: it was no longer just about objects but about objects of art, whose function was subordinate to the emotion that they themselves could arouse.

His most important solo exhibitions include the ones at the Cooper Hewitt in New York (1972), at the Retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou (1994), the exhibition at the Suntory Museum in Ōsaka (2000) and at the International Design Zentrum in Berlin (2003).

Sottsass died in Milan on  December 31th 2007.

- Exhibitions
  • 2019

    Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory, Intitute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL

  • 2018

    Ettore Sottsass – More Gallery, Giswil, Switzerland

  • 2017

    Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical - The Met Breuer, New York, NY
    Ettore Sottsass: Rebel and Poet - Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-Rhein
    Ettore Sottsass: Designer of the World - Château de Montsoreau, Montsoreau
    Ettore Sottsass: The Glass – Le Stanze del Vetro, Venezia
    Ettore Sottsass. Oltre il Design – CSAC, Università di Parma, Parma
    Ettore Sottsass: There is a Planet, La Triennale di Milano, Milano

  • 2015

    Ettore Sottsass, Friedman Benda - New York, NY

  • 2014

    Sottsass - Galerie Azzedine Alaïa, Paris
    Ettore Sottsass: Smalti 1958 – Giacomo Guidi Arte Contemporanea, Roma

  • 2012

    Ettore Sottsass, A Survey: 1992-2007 - Friedman Benda, New York, NY
    Ettore Sottsass: Keramik (Ceramic) - Hetjens-Museum Düsseldorf, Deutsches Keramikmuseum, Düsseldorf

  • 2008

    Ettore Sottsass Archetypes 1965-1995 - Friedman Benda, New York, NY
    Vorrei Sapere Perché, una mostra su Ettore Sottsass – Saone degli Incanti, Museo di Trieste, Trieste
    Homage à Ettore Sottsass - Centre George Pompidou, Paris

  • 2007

    Ettore Sottsass - Ghent Mseum, Ghent
    Ettore Sottsass New Works 2005-2007 - Friedman Benda, New York, NY
    Ettore Sottsass. Work in Progress- Design Museum, London

  • 2006

    Ettore Sottsass: Architect and Designer - Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA

  • 2005

    Ettore Sottsass - MART, Rovereto

  • 2004

    Ettore Sottsass - Museo di Capodimonte, Napoli
    Ettore Sottsass: A Master Returns - Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, NY
    Museo d’Arte Decorativa, Cologne

  • 2003

    Ettore Sottsass - Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Cologne
    Ettore Sottsass - Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, NY
    Ettore Sottsass - International Design Zentrum, Berlin

  • 2000

    Suntory Museum, Ōsaka

  • 1999

    Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato

  • 1997

    Ettore Sottsass, 151 drawings – Ma Gallery, Tokyo

  • 1994

    Ettore Sottsass. Rétrospective - Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

  • 1993

    Ettore Sottsass: Adesso però. Reiseerinnerungen - Deichtorhallen Museum, Hamburg
    Design Gallery, Milano

  • 1987

    Ettore Sottsass: Furniture for the Ritual of Life - Blum Helmann Gallery, New York, NY

  • 1976

    Cooper Hewitt, New York
    Ettore Sottsass JR. De l’objet fini à la fin de l’objet - Musée sed Arts décoratif, Paris

  • 1967

    Ettore Sottsass Jr. – La Bertasca, Genova

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