Tribute to the Italian Anti-Design
Kartell goes Sottsass - A Tribute to Memphis is a collection which was introduced in 2015 as a tribute to the master designer Ettore Sottsass. Kartell goes Sottsass in total consists of eight vases, stools and side tables and a lamp, which Ettore Sottsass had designed for Kartell in 2004 that, however never made part of the assortment. Existing upholstered furniture by Kartell is adorned with fabric patterns of the Memphis artists group, giving them an unexpected post futuristic look in the style of Sottsass.
The Milanese artist group Memphis is an association of furniture, textile and ceramic designers founded in 1980 after Ettore Sottsass and Michele De Lucchi had decided to leave the artist group Studio Alchimia, in order to form their own movement. In contrast to Alchimia, Memphis wanted to make a profit from the international recognition of the Italian anti-design by profitably marketing their products to make themselves independent of the contracting authorities, who until then, had always been determinating the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ of the products. With their individual artistic ideas, which were however broken by a systematic pattern, they succeeded in irritating and disturbing the international scene of the Milan design group permanently. Memphis questioned the primary functionality of design objects; in consequence, everyday forms were interpreted positively, full of relish and imaginatively.
The piece of furniture as an icon with a high recognition value is paramount. Furniture was composed of basic shapes such as cones, spheres, pyramids and cubes and coated with garish plastic laminates. The unmistakable look of the Memphis designs, the almost complete absence of right angles, the playful aesthetics and inexpedient design blur the line between furniture and plastic until today.