• Exhibition

The Castiglioni brothers: originality and invention

An exhibition celebrating the Castiglioni brothers and their timeless icons. Pieces manufactured by Zanotta, which continue to create an emotional bond with the audience.
Opening Thursday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m.

“Homage to Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni” displays – from October 21th to November 7th, 2015 – at Zanotta Shop in Milan, the masterpieces of Italian design imagined by the two brothers and manufactured by Zanotta for over 40 years. They will be presented with an amazing exhibition set by the architects Calvi Brambilla and with graphics by Leonardo Sonnoli. During the opening of the exhibition, a speech by Giovanna Castiglioni (daughter of Achille, lecturer, curator of her father Studio-Museum’s and vice president of the homonymous Foundation) and Beppe Finessi (architect, teacher and design critic) will be held. Much has been said and written at the turn of the century on the Castiglioni brothers; their timeless objects conceived by a mix of expressiveness, usability and formal pleasantness remain in the collective memory as everyday pieces that resist time and trends. Many of these objects are in major museums of art and design worldwide, and the majority of them are still on the market. Zanotta has kept in its collection almost all of the pieces designed by the Castiglioni brothers from 1957 onwards, and which were put into production by the founder Aurelio, who was aware of the extraordinary value of these furniture and accessories. «A good project is designed by ambition not to be a symbol, but by the desire to set up an exchange, even if small, with the unknown person who will use the object designed by you» in the words of her father Achille chosen by Giovanna Castiglioni the value of a design method emerges, carried on by the two brothers together first (until the death of Pier Giacomo) and then by Achille alone: a highly original synthesis of applied arts, function and research for new, ironic and unsettling forms and techniques. Leonardo Sonnoli, graphic designer for the firm in Nova Milanese, claims: «I see in the projects of A. and P.G. Castiglioni for Zanotta those insights that come from observing the trivial things that Michele Provinciali taught me: see something different when you look at the everyday life». The setting is a small summary of the approach “by Castiglioni”, as claimed by the architects Fabio Calvi and Paolo Brambilla: «Working with these objects is a dream that comes true for us. We are two fans of the products by the legendary brothers, and we are serial collectors of their pieces! Favoring the experimental side of the Castiglioni’s objects, we brought them to life in a playful set: so we have the Mezzadro stools (design year 1957) “mowing” a piece of lawn, the Allunaggio seats (1965) landing on the planet and the Sella seats (1957) sprinting on a road. Irony and function will march side by side: from the Cumano small table (1978) we have taken the hanging system and from the Primate kneeling seat (1970) its ergonomic design. Accepting the challenge with curiosity without letting it go, as urged Achille Castiglioni». Beppe Finessi explains:«Curiosity, along with humour, desire of experimentation and the will to reach new records have always guided Aurelio Zanotta, first and foremost in cooperation with the Castiglioni brothers. Their relationship, and the results of their working together, gave birth to an utmost season in the design history. A magic moment, which lives on in the Zanotta catalogue, characterized by something simple and very well told by this exhibition: the power of putting ideas first».

Zanotta Shop
From October 21 to November 7
Piazza del Tricolore 2 – Milan
Tel +39.02 76016445
Tuesday – Saturday from 10:30 a.a. to 7:30 p.m.