Discover Joe Colombo’s Radical Living System

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“Joe Colombo designed for society – a utopian vision of the future in colored plastic, modular and efficient.” says R & Company Co-founder and Principal Evan Snyderman of the modern Italian designer whose Living System will greet visitors upon entering the 64 White Street gallery space in our upcoming exhibition Radical Living.

“What is remarkable about the present example of Colombo’s Living System is that we acquired it from a family who purchased it at Macy’s in New York in 1969, where it was exhibited on the 9th floor.” explains R & Company Director of Museum Relations James Zemaitis, “The family kept a file of newspaper clippings which includes an interview by Rita Reif in the New York Times with Colombo, who made the journey to New York to promote the system at Macy’s. In Reif’s article, Colombo is interrupted by a couple of teenage boys, who proceed to test it out with Colombo’s encouragement, one boy proclaiming that he liked it because “it’s modern, not Colonial like what my sister has.” concludes Zemaitis elucidating the novelty of the modular Living System’s design for that time.

“We have collected and exhibited some of the rarest works of Colombo over the years,” agrees Snyderman, “However, with this exhibition, we want you to live in it. Designing an entire bedroom or kitchen in one single piece of furniture was his mission yet only a handful of these iconic works were ever realized.”