8 June 2015
Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milano
A cura di Jasper Morrison e Francesca Molteni
April, 14 > June, 30 2015
Rightly proud of its 80 years of existence, Molteni, one of the companies that best symbolize Italian design and at the cutting edge of the still vital production sector based in Brianza, has decided to celebrate its anniversary at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM) in Milan with the major exhibition 80! Molteni, curated by Jasper Morrison. Molteni & C. was born as a craft workshop in 1934 at Giussano, on the initiative of Angelo and Giuseppina Molteni. After the war it chose to mechanize, becoming in a short space of time a significant manufacturer of furniture. With the economic boom of the sixties, it reinforced its status as a major player in the industry. In the seventies it expanded the range of its activities by taking over three companies specialized in the office and kitchen sectors (Unifor, Citterio and Dada), and began to work in the contract business, an activity that would be developed strongly over the following decade, marked by an important association with Aldo Rossi and Luca Meda. In the nineties the group started to expand at the international level (Europe, Asia and the Americas) and entered into collaborations with top-flight designers who have consolidated its prestige down to the present day, still under the guidance of the family (something that has now become rare in Italy). Molteni’s adventure has been an extraordinary one, and is well worth celebrating. A history made up of many iconic products to which the GAM, through a dialogue with the spaces designed by Ignazio Gardella and the collections assembled by Carlo Grassi and Giuseppe Vismara, is able to give the right prominence. The merit too of the floating islands conceived by Jasper Morrison on the basis of a detail of a bookcase designed by Gio Ponti: they display a selection of 44 objects, in an interactive presentation. Visitors find themselves already in the world of Molteni as they enter the courtyard of the GAM, dominated by a gigantic version of the red Milano chair, designed in 1987 by Aldo Rossi, who also created the Carteggio desk, located at the base of the stairs leading to the third floor, where pieces by some of the most interesting contemporary designers are presented in strictly chronological order.