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Molto BelloIcons of Modern Italian Design

Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milan,
Carlton Room Divider 1981, wood, thermosetting laminate, metal, plastic, 196 × 189.7 × 40.2 cm (overall), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with the assistance of the National Gallery Women’s Association 1985 © Estate of Ettore Sottsass

This exhibition showcases some of the most significant examples in the history of twentieth century Italian design spanning the era of the first Milan Design Triennale in the 1930s to the influential expressive aesthetics of the Memphis Group in the 1980s. Drawn from public and private collections across Australia, the objects in the exhibition—including classic chairs, lamps, homeware, the Olivetti Valentine typewriter and the iconic Vespa —celebrate the artistic creativity, experimentation, craftsmanship, and technical innovations of key proponents in the industry. From the elegant Art Deco pieces of inspirational design leader Gio Ponti to the colourful and stylish 1960s creations of Gae Aulenti, Joe Colombo and Gaetano Pesce, and the later ironic, kitsch and provocative inventions of Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini, Molto Bello: Icons of Modern Italian Design highlights the extraordinary and enduring contribution of Italian designers to global culture.

26 October 2024 – 23 March 2025
Heide Main Galleries and Heide Modern

Included with museum admission

Kendrah Morgan and Laura Lantieri
Current Exhibitions