Memphis Design Meets Ornate 18th Century Parisian Apartment | Yellowtrace

Memphis Design Meets Ornate 18th Century Parisian Apartment | Yellowtrace

Memphis Design Meets Ornate 18th Century Parisian Apartment | Yellowtrace

 

The home of French designer and architect is teeming with art and furniture from the Memphis Movement, and in particular work by its founder Ettore Sottsass. Zana has a deep admiration for the radical Italian architect and has been collecting his work for over 15 years. ‘‘He changed everything. He was really the first person to entirely inhabit that most interesting place between art and architecture,’’ said Zana .

Zana’s collection consists of over 30 pieces from Sottsass including rare prototype ceramics, furniture and lighting – some of which were from Sottsass’ pre-Memphis period. The collection also includes three large scale glazed ceramic totems that Sottsass created in 1965 after recovering from nephritis. He made 21 of these totems which give life to his hospital sketches of pills and medicines stacked high like building blocks.

The 18th-century Rue de Grenelle apartment is a divergent backdrop against the colourful and eclectic collection of objects. Yet somehow the Memphis aesthetic, known for its brash colours and bold shapes, sits quite well against the classically ornate interior. And if you weren’t stimulated enough, Zana’s collection also integrates the work of different styles and eras including furniture, lights and pieces that he designed himself.

 

Related Post: Stories On Design // Modern Memphis Movement.

 

Memphis Design Meets Ornate 18th Century Parisian Apartment | Yellowtrace

Memphis Design Meets Ornate 18th Century Parisian Apartment | Yellowtrace

 

Some of the works in this apartment were displayed in a recent exhibition at the Carlo Scarpa-designed Olivetti Venice Showroom which coincided with the centenary of Sottssas’ birth and the 57th Venice Biennale. “DIALOGO”, curated by Zana, featured ceramic works created by Sottsass between 1957 and 1969. Both Scarpa and Sottsass worked for Olivetti during that period, yet both resisted modernism’s restraints.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this apartment was more of a museum rather than a lived in home but Zana vehemently disagrees. He acknowledges the absurdity of treating things as though they were valuable and delicate when they were intended to be that way. He says “I would rather be alive with beauty than living in a museum, with things under glass.’’ Amen to that.

 

Related Post: Highlights from Venice Art Biennale 2017.

 

Memphis Design Meets Ornate 18th Century Parisian Apartment | Yellowtrace

Memphis Design Meets Ornate 18th Century Parisian Apartment | Yellowtrace


[Images via . Photography by .]

 



About The Author

Fenina Acance

Architecting away in Melbourne, Fenina is a shameless fashion, art and design fanatic who loves defying the relentless Melbournian uniform of black on black on black. Often spotted strutting a boisterous mix of pattern and colour, her eclectic love for the bold, raw and textured fuels her passion for design and contemporary art. When not indulging in Cy Twombly’s sensitive scribbles or Serra’s evocative sculptural forms, her love for everything Italian consumes the rest of her time. Whether it’s the language, design or food (especially food), Fenina is obsessed!

Leave a Reply