from drawing to design ll – masters of the 80s
1 september – 20 november 2023

ammannn//gallery presents „from drawing to design II – masters of the 80s“, an exhibition featuring historical works showcasing studio alchimia and memphis‘ thematic stylistic idiom while highlighting the interaction between paintings and objects. 

the exhibition features ten works on paper, including two tempera paintings, „looking koto ku buildings from sumida river“ by bruno gregori and „farfalle“ by carla ceccariglia from 1986 as well as fifteen iconic design pieces such as the „poltrona di proust“ (1979), hand-painted in the style of pointillism, and the „ondoso table“ from the bauhaus collection (1980) by alessandro mendini for alchimia.

exhibition view from drawing to design 2 masters of the 80s ammann gallery

the influential Italian collective studio alchimia and its protagonists are represented in the exhibition by alessandro guerriero, alessandro mendini, bruno gregori, carla ceccariglia, ettore sottsass, and giorgio gregori. studio alchimia was founded in the late 1970s to challenge established design norms and explore new possibilities for artistic expression, believing that design should not be confined to functionality alone but should incorporate elements of art, emotions and storytelling. integrating sketching and the medium of drawing and painting into their design practice, the artists of studio alchimia could impart a unique visual language to their design objects. they utilised colours, lines, and shapes to create dynamic and expressive designs beyond mere functionality. each design became a standalone artwork, blurring the boundaries between design and sculpture. based on the alchimia manifesto written by alessandro mendini in 1985, „drawing is a free and continuous expression of thought, made visual‘ and ‚the ‚beauty‘ of the object is in the love and magic with which it is suggested and in its soul „. 

transitioning to the memphis group founded in 1980 by ettore sottsass, the exhibition showcases two pieces by the Italian architect and designer massimo iosa ghini and design works by japanese designer shiro kuramata. „città fluida“ (1991) by massimo iosa ghini, an impressive acrylic on canvas, depicts a futuristic cityscape bursting with colour and flowing shapes accompanied by his „satellite armchair“ designed for design gallery milano’s collection 1989 in a rich blue colour shaped in similar forms characterised in ghini’s fluid city painting highlighting the artist’s stylistic idiom. the early and numbered „kyoto side table“ (1985) by shiro kuramata for memphis is a white round table made from concrete and chrome-plated metal with infused specs of multicoloured glass. 

bruno gregori for alchimia
looking koto ku buildings from sumida river 1986
tempera painting
63.5 x 64.5 cm

Alessandro Mendini Ondoso table courtesy ammann gallery

alessandro mendini for alchimia
ondoso table, bauhaus collection 1980
lacquered wood, celluloid
120 x 100 x 32 cm

carla ceccariglia for alchimia
farfalle 1986
tempera painting
81 x 59.8 cm

Alessandro Mendini Viola Canina Sidetable courtesy ammann gallery

alessandro mendini for design gallery milano
viola canina sidetable, museum market collection 1993
glass, fibreglass, handpainted ceramic
92 x 50 cm

Matteo Thun for Alessio Sarri Sesto Fiorentino Columbina Superba Teapot ammann gallery

matteo thun for alessio sarri-sesto fiorentino
columbina superba teapot 1982
25 x 10 x 26 cm

alessandro mendini for alchimia
poltrona di proust, bauhaus collection 1979
wood, handpainted upholstery
112 x 90 x 118 cm

Alessandro Mendini Phlox Sculpture Museum Market Collection ammann gallery

alessandro mendini for design gallery milano
phlox sculpture, museum market collection 1993
glass, marble
48 x 16 x 54 cm

alessandro guerriero for alchimia
croce 1991
felt pen on handmade paper
20.5 x 29.5 cm

Alessandro Mendini for Alchimia Poltrona Psilla courtesy ammann gallery

alessandro mendini for alchimia
poltrona psilla 1984
fabric, upholstery
95 x 62cm

massimo iosa ghini
citta fluida 1991
acrylic on canvas
120 x 180cm

Ettore Sottsass Carabo Chair ammann gallery

ettore sottsass for zanotta edizioni
carabo chair 1989
wood, laminate, fabric
47 x 51 x 85 cm

giorgio gregori for alchimia
drago 1990
felt pen on handmade paper
20.5 x 29.5 cm

Michelangelo Pistoletto Tutti Designers courtesy ammann gallery

michelangelo pistoletto
tutti designers 1989
neon wall lamp, silkscreen, aluminium case
45 x 12 x 33 cm

Alessandro Guerriero Gioco Visivo Vase ammann gallery

alessandro guerriero
gioco visivo 1992
46 x 12 cm

Shiro Kuramata Kyoto Sidetable courtesy ammann gallery

shiro kuramata for memphis
kyoto sidetable 1985
glass, concrete, chrome-plated metal
70 x ø 60 cm

alessandro guerriero
ceramic vase 1991
handpainted ceramic
30 x ø 16 cm

© ammann // gallery 2023

teutoburger str. 27 / d-50678 köln
phone +49 (0) 221 932 88 03 /

exhibition open by appointment
office hours, mo - fri, 9 am - 6 pm