Carlo Mollino - The Collector: Icons of Design New York Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Marquis Vladi Orengo, Casa Orengo, Turin, 1949
    Count Vergnano di Villar, Turin
    Franco Semenzato & Co., Venice, "Mobili, arredi, oggetti vari," April 21, 1985, lot 67
    Galerie Denys Bosselet, Paris
    Marc-André Hubin, Avenue Foch, Paris, 1986
    Mara Cremniter, Paris
    Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, 1994
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1997

  • Exhibited

    "Design Italian Style: Furniture by Carlo Mollino and Carlo Graffi," Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, May 1 - July 11, 1997
    "Carlo Mollino: Arabesques," Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, September 20, 2006-January 7, 2007

  • Literature

    "Casa verso la collina," Domus, no. 265, December 1951, pp. 17, 19
    "Scoperte & Riscoperte," Domus, no. 650, May 1984, pp. 36-37
    Giovanni Brino, Carlo Mollino: Architettura come Autobiografia, Milan, 1985, p. 124
    Germano Celant, "Un appartamento a Parigi," Domus, no. 681, March 1987, p. 55
    Rossella Colombari, Carlo Mollino Catalogo Del Mobili – Furniture Catalogue, Milan, 2005, pp. 66-67
    Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, The Furniture of Carlo Mollino, New York, 2006, pp. 184, 225
    Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, eds., Carlo Mollino: Arabesques, exh. cat., Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Milan, 2007, p. 83

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is registered in the library of the Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, as number CM364-1.

    Phillips would like to thank Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, and Rossella Colombari, Galleria Colombari, Milan, and Barry Friedman, New York, for their assistance cataloguing the present lot.

    The interior of the Marquis Orengo residence, also known as Casa Orengo, was completed in 1950. Carlo Mollino conceived a large series of furniture for the river-facing apartment. The daybed was one of the main interior elements within the spacious living room, together with a large desk, table, chair, armchair, ceiling lights, large bookcase and sideboard. A similar later example of the daybed was produced for the seminal 1950 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, “Italy at Work.”

  • 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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Unique adjustable daybed, designed for Casa Orengo, Turin

Maple-veneered plywood, maple, stained maple, painted maple veneered wood, brass, fabric.
20 1/2 x 78 1/2 x 29 3/4 in. (52.1 x 199.4 x 75.6 cm) flat
Produced by Apelli & Varesio, Italy.

$250,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $506,500

Contact Specialist
Alexander Payne
Worldwide Head of Design
+44 20 7318 4052

Alex Heminway
Director of Design
New York
+1 212 940 1268

The Collector: Icons of Design

New York Auction 16 December 2014 5pm