Carlo Mollino - Design New York Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Radio Audizioni Italiane (RAI) Auditorium, Turin; Primavera Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    Fulvio Ferrari, Carlo Mollino Cronaca, Turin, 1985, p. 72, fig. 104 for a photograph of the armchairs in situ; Gionvanni Brino, Carlo Mollino: Architecture as Autobiography, Milan, 1987, figs. 343 and 345; Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, The Furniture of Carlo Mollino, New York, 2006, p. 228

  • Artist Biography

    Carlo Mollino

    Italian • 1905 - 1973

    Carlo Mollino made sexy furniture. His style may have grown out of the whiplash curves of Art Nouveau, but the sinuous lines of his furniture were more humanoid than vegetal, evoking arched backs and other body parts. Mollino was also an avid aviator, skier and racecar driver — he designed his own car for Le Mans. His love of speed and danger comes across in his designs, which MoMA curator Paola Antonelli has described as having "frisson."

    Mollino had no interest in industrial design and the attendant constraints of material costs and packaging. His independent wealth allowed him to pick and choose projects, resulting in an oeuvre of unique, often site-specific works that were mostly executed by the Turin joinery firm Apelli & Varesio. Apart from a coffee table that he designed in 1950 for the American company Singer & Sons, his furniture never went into production. Notwithstanding the support of Gio Ponti, Mollino's design contemporaries largely dismissed him as an eccentric outsider. However, the combination of scarcity (Mollino only made several hundred works in his lifetime), exquisite craftsmanship and idiosyncratic "frisson" has rightly placed Carlo Mollino in the highest tier of twentieth-century design collecting.

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Pair of armchairs, from the RAI Auditorium, Turin

Velvet, tubular brass.
Each: 33 1/2 in. (85.1 cm.) high
Side of one armchair with metal label with “524” and other side with metal labels with “524,” “D,” and “XI.” Side of other armchair with metal label with “388” and other side with metal labels with “388” and “VIII” (2).

$8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $9,000


25 May 2011
New York