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Details & Cataloguing

Design: Living in a Material World

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Ettore Sottsass
'MINARETO' TOTEM
signed Sottsass and numbered 5/20
from an edition of 20
glazed earthenware, plastic laminated wood
205 x 48 cm square (80  3/4  x 18  7/8  in.)
designed 1993-1994
produced by Edizioni Arte Design, Agliana, Italy
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Provenance

Acquired directly from the producer by the present owner

Literature

Fulvio Ferrari, Ettore Sottsass: Tutta la Ceramica, Torino, 1996, p. 140, fig. 631

Catalogue Note

Ettore Sottsass launched his career in ceramics with no formal training or knowledge of the material, relying on the expertise of Aldo Londi, artistic director of Bitossi, to produce the designs he envisioned. 'When I designed my ceramics I couldn't ignore the existence of the local tradition, the colours and the materials, and even the fundamental idea of ceramics.' Sottsass visited India for the first time in 1961, and it was here he discovered rich colours, forms and ancient traditions that would influence his ceramic designs. Sottsass discovered that many objects found in India served a cultural, rather than functional purpose. Combining ancient materials with non-western religious practices, Sottsass desired to 'raise the object to the level of concentration so as to release it from its lesser functions...capable of stimulating by their presence the awareness of our own gestures.'

Design: Living in a Material World

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London