The 80!Molteni exhibition illustrates 80 years’ experience of furniture-making, quality and innovation on the part of Molteni&C founded in Giussano in 1934.
Since then, from the first steps of the artisan firm set up by Angelo and Giuseppina Molteni, much has changed. Manufacturing, today industrial. Distribution, today international. Molteni’s capacity for innovation, with constant investments in research and development. One thing has remained unchanged: quality, the fil rouge which, for three generations, has united the development of a Group that ranks among the world’s leaders in the furnishing and design sector, flag-bearers for products Made in Italy in more than 80 countries. Today, Molteni is an example of entrepreneurial excellence, and is one of a handful guaranteeing a complete production cycle. The company has thus contributed to the growth of one of Italy’s most important industrial districts, Brianza. For over a century, the aristocracy of wood has been based here: first classic, then modern furniture, and lastly design.
In an exhibition curated by Jasper Morrison with graphic project by Studio Cerri & Associati, for the first time visitors can see the prototypes and the most iconic products of the Group’s four companies: Molteni&C (home furniture), Unifor (office furniture), Dada (kitchen furniture) and Citterio (office furniture and partition walls). But the show also tells the Italian story of a business that started up in the 1930s as a firm of artisan furniture makers, to develop in the 1950s on an industrial scale, boasting partnerships with Italian and international architects and designers, such as Foster+Partners, Jean Nouvel, Álvaro Siza, Pier Luigi Cerri, Michele De Lucchi, Rodolfo Dordoni, Ferruccio Laviani, Luca Meda, Dante Bonuccelli, Aldo Rossi, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Hannes Wettstein, Patricia Urquiola, Ron Gilad, Werner Blaser and Richard Sapper. Right through to remakes of a collection of furniture designed by Gio Ponti between 1935 and 1970.
80!Molteni is an exhibition on Italian design and its icons, but also a multimedia presentation complete with innovative video, audio and interactive technologies, designed to take visitors on a virtual tour of a world made up of experience, craftsmanship, industry, memory and vision of the future.
The exhibition is housed in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, one of Milan’s Civic Museums, in the Villa Reale in via Palestro, a splendid example of the Neoclassical style. Mounted on the second floor, it converses with the Grassi and Vismara collections, which together make up an exceptional body of 20th century masterpieces, only very recently restored to the city after restauration work on the original exhibition project, carried out by Ignazio Gardella at the end of the 1950s.
The exhibition is under the aegis of City of Milan.