Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) was an Italian designer and architect, a Renaissance man with a prolific and innovative career. Twelve unique Polaroids taken by Mollino between 1962 and his passing in 1973 are exhibited alongside pieces of his furniture and a film installation. It is the most comprehensive UK exhibition of Mollino’s work to date.
Original chairs from RAI Auditorium, a structure Mollino designed in 1952, are shown, as part of a theatre installation. A visual biography is screened as part of the installation and illustrates the breadth of his diverse career. Featured alongside are rare archival materials including architectural models, letters and books.riginal chairs from RAI Auditorium, a structure Mollino designed in 1952, are shown, as part of a theatre installation. A visual biography is screened as part of the installation and illustrates the breadth of his diverse career. Featured alongside are rare archival materials including architectural models, letters and books.
Mollino had a lifelong passion for photography, indulging this in the latter years of his career through his Polaroids of primarily nude female models. Each one a unique and highly staged image, and taken at a flat he owned in Turin, this rare group of works remained undiscovered until after his death. He loved not only the apparatus of the Polaroid, but also the privacy it allowed, in creating something that couldn’t be copied or reproduced. Thought to be local women, some prostitutes, the models in the Polaroids remain enigmatic while their manufactured poses and settings suggest erotic narratives.n 1930, Carlo Mollino started his career as an architect designing a house in Forte dei Marmi and receiving the G. Pistono prize for architecture. Between 1933 and 1948, he worked in his father’s office, and took part in several architecture competitions (e.g. the Farmers Association Building in Cuneo, the Fascist House in Voghera, and, after World War II, the Monument to the Partisan, which was created in collaboration with the sculptor Umberto Mastroianni. The Monument to the Partisan was placed in the Generale cemetery of Torino after winning the competition.
Between 1936 and 1939, Mollino designs, in collaboration with Vittorio Baudi di Selve, the Società Ippica Torinese building in Torino, considered his masterpiece. However, this building was destroyed in 1960. This work breaks with the past and the regime, refusing the rationalist school and taking inspiration from Alvar Aalto and Eric Mendelsohn Carlo Mollino loved the mountains and was a ski enthusiast; he wrote the book Trattato sul Discesismo where he explained his personal skiing technique with many illustrations. He designed some mountain houses like the Casa del Sole in Cervinia, Italy and the Slittovia of Lago Nero in Sauze d’Oulx, Italy. In this work, all the art of Mollino is shown: a large, modern terrace protruding from the main volume contrasts with the traditional materials of the building. This building, placed on the ski runs and reachable during the winter only by ski, has been restored in 2001 and now contains temporary expositions.
In 1952, Mollino designed the RAI Auditorium in Torino, which was radically restored bringing big changes to the original structure in 2006. In the first half of the sixties, he directed the team of architects responsible for the design of the INA-Casa district in Torino and he is placed second in the competition for the design of the Palazzo del Lavoro building in Torino, won by Pier Luigi Nervi, for the 100th anniversary celebration of the unification of Italy (1961).
In the last years of his life (between 1965 and 1973) he designed the two buildings that made him famous: the Camera di Commercio building and the Teatro Regio Torino (Regio Theater), both in Torino. Before his death he completes the projects for the FIAT Directional Centre in Candiolo, the AEM building in Torino, and the Club Mediterranèe in Sestriere.
Son of an engineer, Mollino is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential designers of the 20th century. His individual aesthetic was defined by contrasting modes of expression,blending surrealism and organic form. A racecar driver, photographer, skier, engineer, architect and aviator, Mollino’s eclectic
character and broad range of interests inspired his unique career. His architectural projects included the Camera di Commercio and the Teatro Regio in Turin. Mollino’s diverse interests and non-conformist attitude set him apart from his peers. A world record price for a piece of 20th Century Furniture was set in June 2005 when a piece designed by Carlo Mollino was auctioned by Christie’s New York in June 2005. An oak and glass table for Casa Orengo, 1949, sold for $3,824,000.Mollino is currently the subject of an exhibition at the Alinari National Museum of Photography in Florence, curated by Fulvio Ferrari. Carlo Mollino. With Naked Eye runs until 14 June 2009.
Since it opened in October 2008, Sebastian + Barquet London has established itself as a leading gallery for international modernist design. Sebastian + Barquet was established in New York in 2005 with the intention of providing collectors with access to the finest available examples of 20th century design. With two locations in New York’s Chelsea design district and a further gallery in Bruton Place in London’s Mayfair, Sebastian + Barquet maintains a presence at principal design fairs worldwide. With a focus on masterworks of American and European design of the 1940s-1960s, the gallery is dedicated to presenting well curated, museum-quality exhibitions that celebrate the works of established masters while simultaneously showcasing the work of lesser-known designers. The gallery’s exhibited artists include international designers who have left an indelible mark on the design landscape, such as Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier, Gio Ponti, George Nakashima and Buckminster Fuller.