21 May - 18 June 2019
64 White Street
R & Company is thrilled to announce Radical Living, Italian Radical Design from 1965-1975. The exhibition offers an in-depth exploration into this significant period with a curated selection of important historical designs that tell the story behind this revolutionary movement. Taking place on the upper level of the 64 White Street gallery, Radical Living, is accompanied by the R & Company publication SuperDesign: Italian Radical Design 1965-1975 as well as the feature length documentary film by Maria Cristina Didero and director Francesca Molteni, which will be shown on loop in a private screening area during the run of the exhibition.
This exhibition is a continued exploration of the extensive 2017 show SuperDesign which surveyed the bold and experimental works of leading Italian architects and designers who were instrumental to this period. Radical Living debuts significant new pieces in the gallery’s collection that provide a closer look into the movement while visually presenting these historical designs in a contemporary context. Inspired by the irreverent interiors of the time, the exhibition is segmented into creative environments that both preserve the history of the works and allow for re-discovery.
The entrance of the gallery is devoted to showcasing a series of living environments designed by Joe Colombo including the “Living System Box 1,” a modular living environment that consists of a closet, bed, chest, shelf, desk and vanity as well as the “Table Kitchen,” a compact unit composed of modular electrical parts and cooking plates. The exhibition also presents a series of archival drawings and bold lighting designed by Lapo Binazzi for UFO including the iconic “Dollaro” and “MGM” table lamp as well as an illuminated wearable umbrella sculpture which Binazzi originally created in 1987 for documenta 8 in Kassel Germany. Also on view for the first time together are four historical “Pratone” sofas designed in 1971 by Pietro Derossi, Giorgo Ceretti and Riccardo Rosso alongside the classic “Bocca” sofa designed by Studio 65, all produced by Gufram in 1986.
Presented together, the eccentric furniture and objects in Radical Living represent the idealistic dreams and principles of these pioneering figures. With what started as a reaction to the political tensions during the 1960s in Italy, the radical designers sparked a revolution that is still relevant today. Principal Evan Snyderman states “These small factions of youth created a movement by believing that they could change the world, not through political acts or war, but through architecture and design.” As the renewed interest in Italian Radical Design continues to grow with an increase of international exhibitions on the subject, it’s apparent the importance of this visionary period and how it shifted our perception of design.
Radical Living is on view from May 21 to June 18 on the upper level of R & Company’s 64 White Street location and runs concurrently with the exhibition Dinner.