tag archives: triennale di milano

 

my husband, bob, and i arrived in milan on the final day of the osvaldo borsani retrospective at la triennale di milano design museum.

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

the retrospective was designed and curated by the norman foster foundation and l’archivio osvaldo borsani (the osvaldo borsani archive), in partnership with the museum.

the design of the exhibition was exceptional.  over 300 objects were organized chronologically from 1925-1985, and installed along opposite walls of the U-shaped gallery.  archival materials, including drawings, documents, and photographs, hung opposite furniture and objects displayed on a cubic grid system inspired by american artist, sol lewitt.

the exhibition was also exceptionally well curated.  the documents corresponded with the objects.  so, it was easy to understand the creative context.

osvaldo borsani | 16 may-15 september | la triennale di milano | milan, italy

photo credit (c) agostino osio via tomoarchitects

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) was not only a visionary twentieth century architect, designer, and industrial designer, but also the co-founder of the contract furniture brand, tecno.  however, as a residential interior designer, i was most interested in the furniture that he designed during the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s for arredamenti borsani varedo (borsani varedo furnishings) (abv), his family’s furniture business.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | travertine, walnut wood, parchment, glass, brass | abv | 1940’s | dimore gallery collection

sofa | wood, mahogany wood, velvet fabric | abv | 1935 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / interni / casa m | photographs 4 and 8, rendering 9

table | maple wood, glass | abv | 1939 | private collection

table | black lacquered wood, gilding, glass | abv | 1939 | nicolas kilner gallery collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | maple wood, mirror, lighting | abv | 1939 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | rendering 2

desk | walnut wood | abv | 1947 | atelier automobili amos collection

armchairs | wood, fabric | abv | 1948 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 31

table | walnut wood, glass | abv | 1939 | jochum rodgers collection, berlin

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

wardrobe | maple wood | abv | 1940 | private collection

dresser | maple wood, mirror, brass | abv | private collection

table | walnut wood, silvered glass, lighting | abv | 1940 ) galleria michela cattai collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 79

side chairs | walnut wood, fabric | abv | 1940 | galleria michela cattai collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | drawing 15

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bed | wood | abv | 1938 | private collection

cabinet | wood, glass, lighting | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 99

armchairs | wood, velvet fabric | 1944 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | white lacquered wood | abv | 1939 | jochum rodgers collection, berlin

mirror with shelf | wood, glass, lighting | abv | 1948 | fragile collection

card table | wood, inlay | abv | 1942 | private collection

desk | wood, | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

side chairs | wood, fabric | abv | 1938 | britt moran and emiliano salci collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’30 | renderings 23 and 27

l’archivio di varedo / interni / casa m | photograph 3

bar | wood, leather, velvet, murano glass | abv | 1940 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

mirror and shelf | gilded wood, marble, optional lighting | abv | 1950 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 118

console | white lacquered wood, brass | abv | 1940’s | private collection, turin

armchair | wood, fabric | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 73 and 82

table | brass, wood or glass top | abv | 1948 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 124 and 125

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 26

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

sideboard | rosewood, bronze | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | brass, wood | abv | 1949 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | rendering 21

console | gilded wood, marble | abv | 1947 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 143

table | brass, marble | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | rendering 16

table | brass, wood or glass top | 1950 | abv | private collection

armchair | wood, velvet fabric | 1945 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

sideboard | walnut wood, inlay | abv | 1943 | private collection

console | maple wood | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | wood, marble or glass top | abv | 1947 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 121

floor lamp | coated metal | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | wood, glass | abv | 1947 | private collection

armchair | walnut wood, fabric | abv | 1946 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

console | mahogany wood, glass | abv | 1949 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 138

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 39

sideboard | rosewood, bronze | abv | 1945 | private collection

armchairs | wood, wood or bakelite armrests, fabric | abv, later tecno | 1946-1953 | private collection, and prada collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | rendering 36

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 115, 116, 135, and 142

table | rosewood, glass  | abv | 1947 | private collection

table | maple wood, engraved glass | abv | 1946 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 119

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 5

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

console | mahogany wood, white granite | abv | presented at the IX trienniale | 1951 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 137

sofa | abv, later tecno | 1952 | private collection

armchairs | wood, wood or bakelite armrests, fabric | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | drawing 24

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 144

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photographs 25 and 38

l’archivio di varedo | interni | casa n | photograph 3

table | wood, onyx | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | mahogany wood, bronze | handles designed by lucio fontana | abv | 1949 | dimore gallery collection

console | wood, marble | abv | 1944 | private collection

triennale side chairs | wood, fabric | abv | presented at the IX triennale | 1951 | dimore gallery collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 136

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

are you inspired to begin collecting borsani furniture from the 1930’s, 1940’s, or 1950’s?

if so, you could consider bidding on the triennale table and chairs offered in the italian design auction at christie’s in london on 17 october 2018.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) | a ‘triennale’ dining suite, designed 1951 | estimate GBP 12,000.00-18,000.00

thinking italian design | sale 16017 | lot 17 | christie’s london | 17 october 2018

photo credit christies

 

or, maybe on the tables offered in the important design auction at phillips in london on 18 october 2018.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) | pair of side tables | circa 1948 | estimate GBP 5000.00-7000.00

important design | sale uk050318 | lot 30 | phillips london | 18 october 2018

photo credit phillips

of the four case museo di milano (milan house museums), the casa museo boschi di stefano and the villa necchi campiglio are the most exceptional.

the casa museo boschi di stefano has the best salon style art installations that i have ever seen.

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salon style installation of works from the spazialisti (spatialist) and nucleari (nuclear) art movements

casa museo boschi di stefano | milan, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

architecture

both the necchi campiglio villa and the boschi di stefano apartment building were designed by architect piero portaluppi (1888-1967) during the 1930’s.

click here to read my previous post about the villa necchi campiglio.

portaluppi designed the apartment building in 1929-1931 for property developer, francesco di stefano.  at the time, di stefano was building a new development of apartment buildings in the neighborhood surrounding corso buenos aires.  as part of the development, di stefano built a five-story apartment building for his family.  the building included a one floor apartment for each of his five children.  his daughter, marieda di stefano (1901-1968), and her husband, antonio boschi (1896-1988), lived in the apartment on the second floor.

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piero portaluppi (1888-1967) | staircase in the di stefano family’s apartment building | via giorgio jan, 15 | milan, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

furniture

most of the furniture was purchased by the fondazione boschi di stefano, and is not original to the apartment.  consequently, most of the rooms are no longer furnished according to their original function.  instead, they are furnished with pieces from the same time period as the architecture and the art collection.

the foundation considers the credenza, dining table, and six chairs, designed by italian artist mario sironi (1885-1961) for the 1936 triennale di milano exhibition, as their most important acquisition.  other notable purchases include an art deco desk, bookcase, table, and bar (circa 1930), designed by sicilian architect ernesto basile (1857-1932), and six chairs (circa 1930), designed by portaluppi.

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mario sironi (1885-1961) | credenza, dining table, and six chairs | walnut, bronze, parchment, and ebony | designed for the 1936 triennale di milano exhibition

room 5 | sironi room | originally a study | casa museo boschi di stefano | milan, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

lighting

 the light fixtures acquired by the foundation for the apartment include the ‘who’s who’ of the italian glass industry.  most are classic murano glass light fixtures from 1925-1940 by barovier, giacomo cappelin (1887-1968), venini, or napoleone martinuzzi (1892-1977) for venini.  some are more modern, but from the same time period, such as the ceiling light in the sironi room by piero chiesa (1892-1948) for fontana arte.

art collection

boschi and di stefano collected over 2000 works of twentieth century italian art, which they donated to the city of milan in 1974 and 1988.  part of the boschi di stefano collection is on exhibit at the museo del novecento, a contemporary art museum established by the city of milan in 2010.

about 300 works of art from the boschi di stefano collection are chronologically displayed in their apartment, according to art movement.  there are entire rooms filled with works by novecento (1900’s) movement co-founder mario sironi (1885-1961) and spazialisti (spatialist) movement co-founder lucio fontana (1899-1968).

fontana white

fontana grey

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lucio fontana (1899-1968) | concetto spaziale, attese | 1958-1960

lucio fontana (1899-1968) | concetto spaziale, attese | 1958-1960

lucio fontana (1899-1968) | concetto spaziale | 1956

lucio fontana (1899-1968) | concetto spaziale, crocifissione | 1956

photo credits massi_most via instagram, massi_most via instagram, lisa walsh | innerspace, and lisa walsh | innerspace

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salviati | 14 light chandelier | glass | 20th century

piero portaluppi (1888-1967) | six chairs | walnut | 1930

room 9 | fontana room | originally antonio boschi’s study | casa museo boschi di stefano | milan, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

the boschi di stefano collection includes works by other well known artists, such as giorgio morandi (1890-1964) and giorgio de chirico (1888-1978).

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giorgio de chirico (1888-1978) | la scuola dei gladiatori: il combattimento | 1928

giorgio de chirico (1888-1978) | facitori di trofei | 1925-1928

photo credits sauvage27.blogspot.com via arte.it and lisa walsh | innerspace

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napoleone martinuzzi (1892-1977) for venini | 11 light chandelier | pagliesco (mercury) glass | 1925-1930

barovier | pair of floor lamps | pulegoso (bubbled) glass | 1935-1940

modern suite of upholstered furniture based on a design by piero portaluppi (1888-1967)

room 7 | paris school room | originally the living room | casa museo boschi di stefano | milan, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

plus, works from the gruppo di corrente (current group), the scuola di parigi (paris school), and the chiaristi (clear), nucleari (nuclear), and informale (informal) art movements.

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salon style installation of works from the spazialisti (spatialist) and nucleari (nuclear) art movements

giacomo cappelin (1887-1968) | six light chandelier | glass | 1925-1930

room 10 | spatialist and nuclear room | originally marieda di stefano’s studio | casa museo boschi di stefano | milan, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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salon style installation of works from the informale (informal) art movement

gino levi montalcini (1902-1974) | table | oak with ceramic top | 1950

room 11 | informal room | originally the master bedroom | casa museo boschi di stefano | milan, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

aren’t the salon style art walls exceptional?