the shelf sculpture.
art as furniture: the wonderful, colourful and very impressive ‚liana‘ bookcase by ettore sottsass for meccani arredamenti, built in a (very) limited edition of ten pieces. it feels like ‚memphis‘ – but with a more luxurious twist. and it has an interesting story to tell: allround genius ettore sottsass is known for his large oeuvre including furniture, jewelry, glass, lighting and especially office design and products for olivetti. he participated in numerous milan triennials and joined the global tools movement in the late 1970s as a champion of new design. in 1980 he founded the still active studio sottsass associati and in 1981 the famous ‚group memphis‘. people worldwide instantly recognise this eightie’s style, a fireworks of colours, patterns and materials – even when they don’t know every artists name.
„postmodern“ was the term coined for the overarching trend – but it was more than that. it was a creative rebellion against „classic“ modernism, also half a century old at that time. working against the well-known rules of aesthetics, against austerity and straightforwardness with the means of imagination and quoting from all architectural and design eras.
in the mid-eighties ferdinando meccani, with his family’s experience in carpentry, started a series of collaborations with leading italian and international designers like michael graves, masao noguchi – and ettore sottsass. a collaboration that benefited both sides and also influenced the designer’s approach. inspired by the other works from meccani and the craftsmanship available there, sottsass
decided to „upgrade“ his design with more precious materials than he usually worked with. the asymmetrical, sculptural ‚liana‘ bookcase is a diverse mix: a base in wengè wood, coloured volumes lacquered in satin black, yellow, pink, red, celestial, a vertical root wood element, cherry wood columns and wengè stained oak, topped with a container made of blue glass.
the ‚liana‘ is designed by one of the best and most famous italian designers and it traces the design history of the late twentieth century. it is a very rare object of amazing presence and impact, but it also radiates fun and joy for everyone who sees it – or decides to live with it. Will you?
bookcase ‚liana‘, project 1985 / 1992, realization meccani arredamenti, cascina, italy, in 1993.
produced in a limited edition of ten examples and no longer in production.
numbered and signed with fire brand and copper plate of the company ‚meccani‘.
dimensions: w 220cm x h 220cm x d 60cm
– „sottsass & meccani. una liana di fantasia“, andrea schito for wannenes art magazine
– „evoluzione di un’opera“, meccani art magazine, numero 1, january 2019
– designers details from artsy