Design exhibition 'Enzo Mari' from 11 februari 2023

La Mela

Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli

From 11 February, C-mine and Triennale Milano present the exhibition 'Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli'. Dedicated to the work and ideas of the famous Italian designer, artist and theorist Enzo Mari (1932 - 2020), the expo brings never-before-seen projects, models, drawings, films and posters, from the 'Enzo Mari Archive'.

Enzo Mari

After attending ‘Academia di Brera’ in Milan, Enzo Mari began his career. He experimented with new materials and paid particular attention to the functional aspects of furniture. In the 1960s, he revolutionised the concept of design trough objects intended 'for ordinary people'. This led to creations that not only stood the test of time, but were also unimpeded by trends.

But Mari's work embraces a lot more than design, he was also an artist, illustrator and theorist. He has taught at several Italian universities and he is the author of 15 explanatory and political books. His works are exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Palais du Louvre in Paris and the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Rome, as well as in other public and private collections. He was awarded no less than 5 times the Compasso d'Oro, the most prestigious award for industrial design, and was honoured with 'Ambrogino d'Oro', the highest distinction award given by the city of Milan.

Louise Osieka, director of C-mine: "With Enzo Mari, we bring a design legend to C-mine. Mari's work has not lost its relevance over the years. Even today, he can inspire us to design and build ourselves, combining the beautiful with the useful."

Installation view © Triennale Milano - Foto Gianluca Di loia
Installation view © Triennale Milano - Foto Gianluca Di loia

Retrospective exhibition

The exhibition 'Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli', presented in Triennale Milano from October 17, 2020 to September,12, 2021, consists first of all of a historical section, curated by Francesca Giacomelli featuring Mari's work between 1952 and 2012, with the reproposal of the last exhibition project curated by the artist himself in 2008-2009 for GAM (Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea) in Turin. A global project including curatorship, exhibition design and catalogue. This gives a chronological overview of his entire oeuvre as a designer, artist, intellectual, utopian, art theorist and critic, without distinguishing between different disciplines, media or types of research.

The historical section includes the Research Platforms, nineteen in-depth studies provide insights into projects in which the fundamental themes of Mari's research emerge. Sketches, iconographic research, models, prototypes, drawings, notes, many of which never published or shown... kept in the Mari's studio archives at Piazzale Baracca in Milan, offer a handhold to understand and admire Mari's work. A special section is dedicated to Mari's 'Proposta per un'autoprogettazione (1973), a free guide to hammering together your own furniture using a hammer, nails and wooden planks. Not just a DIY kit, but a revolutionary project in which he uses an elementary technique to invite everyone to make an exercise, to take a critical look at current production methods and disposable society.

Hans Ulrich Obrist

The historical section is complemented by a series of contributions from contemporary, international artists and designers who were invited pay tribute to Mari with new installations. On top of this, the expo includes a series of documents and video interviews from the archive of curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, aiming to highlight Mari's critical and radical take on design. This part of the exhibition is the result of the intensive dialogue between Mari and Obrist - also a renowned name in contemporary art - in which no less than 60 years of art and design, architecture and philosophy, education and graphics are examined.

International exhibitions at C-mine

With this exhibition, the artistic site continues the momentum of international large-scale exhibitions (The World of Charles and Ray Eames, The World of Tim Burton, Tim Walker: Wonderful Things, Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People). C-mine has made a name for itself in the design field over the years, often working with other partners on the site such as the Product Design course at LUCA School of Arts. The founder of that course is Piet Stockmans, the artist-ceramist who also lives on the site with his studio and workshop.

Practical information


11 February 2023 - 29 May 2023

Exhibition spaces C-mine


Buy tickets


A project from Triennale Milano.

Triennale Milano