George Sowden

Memphis
The New International Style

 

Here it is – the incredibly rare FIRST ever Memphis book, published by Electa in Italy in 1981!
First edition. Wrapped in a fold-out front and back cover design by Marco Zanini, this very early document of Memphis is almost entirely a visual folio of reproductions of the original drawings by Martine Bedin, Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele De Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier, Michael Graves, Hans Hollein, Arata Isozaki, Shiro Kuramata, Alessandro Mendini, Paola Navone, Peter Shire, Ettore Sottsass, George Sowden, Matteo Thun, Masanori Umeda and Marco Zanini. Along with an early essay by Barbara Radice (in both Italian and English), this catalogue tells the very beginning of the Memphis story through the original drawings of furniture, objects, lighting and patterns compiled from international architects, artists and designers. The story goes that Ettore Sottsass and his core group encouraged international architects and designers to send their concepts and drawings for new designs for domestic furnishings. In viewing their results through this selection of the drawings, it is clear there was a global design revolution happening and Memphis was about to produce prototypes of these designs that would shock and change the world forever.

A rare opportunity to own this important publication of design history.

Note: This book was briefly re-issued in 2009 in a limited edition – this is however the first printing from 1981.

* Condition: Very Good (light wear / age tanning / previous owners name) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Memphis - The New International Style (1981)
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Andrea Branzi
Il Dolce Stil Novo (della Casa)

Andrea Branzi “Il Dolce Stil Novo (della Casa)” was published in 1991 on the occasion of a very special exhibition featuring works by Lapo Binazzi, Denis Santachiara, Shiro Kuramata, Andrea Branzi, Ettore Sottsass Jr., Massimo Iosa Ghini, Remo Buti, George Sowden, and Borek Sipek. The book collects the reflections of this group of architects of different ages, cultures and backgrounds who were called upon to realize a group of domestic landscapes in the large empty rooms of Palazzo Strozzi Firenze. “Auto-biographical, poetic or theoretical reflections take the viewer and reader to the central point of the project in question: a person’s home. That is, our survival within the artistic universe that surrounds us, within the violence and the vulgarity of our times, in the expropriation and eradication of intrusive streams of information. Building a house for man means building a place and objects within it which make is possible to establish relationships not only of use and functionality, but also of a psychological, symbolic, and poetic nature. Holderlin said, “Man lives poetically,” which means the relationship that binds man to his nest is of a nature, literary, partly obscure, and symbolic.” – translated roughly from the Italian introduction by Andrea Branzi, 1990.
This very handsome book compiled by Branzi himself feels more like an artist’s book than an exhibition catalogue, beautifully reproducing intimate drawings, texts, conversations, photographs by the contributors, and printed in an edition of 1250 numbered copies. This copy is number stamped no. 830.

* Condition: Very Good (tight, clean copy) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Memphis-Design

 

First edition. Very rarely seen 1984 Memphis museum catalog published on the occasion of one the first major museum displays of the work of Memphis Milano during the height of the design collective’s power and influence, staged in the Netherlands. Profusely illustrated in black and white and colour with their designs across furniture, lighting, ceramic, glass, etc. with a historical essay tracing the background, inspiration and context of Memphis and radical Italian design by Peter van Kester and Ghislain Kieft (text in Dutch).

Cover design by Nathalie du Pasquier.

* Condition: Very Good (light wear only) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Memphis
Research, Experiences, Results, Failures and Successes of New Design


First 1984 printing of the US hardcover edition of “MEMPHIS: Research, Experiences, Results, Failures and Successes of New Design”, by Barbara Radice – arguably the greatest reference book on the work of the Italian Design group MEMPHIS. In original dust-jacket.

Written by Radice, a founding member of the Memphis group (and author of “Ettore Sottsass: A Critical Biography”), and documenting in stunning photography and reproduction the vast array of design work that this group produced across furniture, lighting, interiors, architecture, textiles, glassware, etc., this really feels like THE official Memphis book, embodying their spirit and design aesthetic in book form.

Founded in 1981, the international group of architects and designers, Memphis, shook the design world to its foundations. Based in Italy and led by Ettore Sottsass, it overturned and re-shaped the pre-suppositions on which the production of so-called Modern Design is based. It became the almost mythical symbol of the New Design. Laughing out loud at our culture and at itself, Memphis pulled out all stops when it came to colour, pattern, decoration and ornamentation. It sets out to contribute to the continuing dialogue on pop culture, the avant-garde and design.

This book features the work of Ettore Sottsass, George Sowden, Masanori Umeda, Shiro Kuramata, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Peter Shire, Michele de Lucchi, Matteo Thun, Alessandro Mendini, Andrea Branzi, Gerard Taylor, Michael Graves, Aldo Cibic, George James Sowden, Arquitectonica, Hans Hollein, Marco Zanini, Javier Mariscal, Thomas Bley, Martine Bedin, etc.

Contents are: Introduction; Memphis; Plastic Laminate; Materials; Decoration; Color; The Memphis Idea; The Design; Memphis and Fashion.

Highly recommended.

* Condition: Very Good-Fine (tight, clean copy in dust jacket protected under plastic) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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