Mark
Cleopatra Occasional Table
Italy, 1987
Marco Zanuso

Memphis
Stainless steel, laminated maple, enameled brass
12¾ × 28½”


Memphis only lasted six years, yet the radical design collective made a lasting impact on the field of design. Memphis challenged the aesthetics of Modernism and, as Aldo Cibic explains, “reset everything design had seen before.”


Marco Zanuso was a modern Italian artist, architect, designer, and industrial designer. He studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano from 1935 to 1939 afterwards teaching architecture, design, and urban planning until opening his office in Milan in 1945. In the late 1940s he began collaboration with Arflex to create a furniture collection utilizing a groundbreaking combination of polyurethane foam and elastic tape; his iconic Lady Armchair won the gold medal at Milan’s IX Triennale. Following the end of World War II, he lent his expertise as the co-editor of Domus and editor of Casabella magazine.

From 1957 to 1977 Zanuso partnered with German industrial designer Richard Sapper to create a new brand of techno-functionalist design including, the 1966 Grillo Telephone for Siemens and a series of mobile housing units for the Museum of Modern Art New York’s noteworthy Italy: The New Domestic Landscape exhibition in 1972.

A highly celebrated designer, Zanuso was awarded the Medaglia d'oro and the Gran Premio at the Milan Triennale VIII, IX, X, XI and XIII editions, and won five Compassi d’Oro between 1956 and 1985. His designs are included in many significant global collections including the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, the Arflex Museum in Italy, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Marco Zanuso died in 2001 in Milan. —Wright





(Photo: Wright)