The Olivetti Idiom (1952-1979) exhibition curated by Caterina Toschi and produced by Ellyn Toscano, New York University Florence, will opened at Villa Sassetti, Florence. The opening was preceded by a rountable discussion at on Olivetti’s visual culture, experimental identity and corporate image between the 1950s and 1980s, and its legacy.
“The Olivetti Idiom (1952-1979)”
March 14 – May 5, 2018
Via Bolognese 120, NYU Florence
A roundtable discussion on Olivetti visual culture, its experimental identity and corporate image between the 1950s and 1980s, and its legacy. Giorgio Colombo, Perry King and G.C.Giovanni Maggio will engage in a discussion on the Olivetti culture, its photographic language, design and school; Marco Sammicheli, curator of the 2017 exhibition Mario Bellini. Italian Beauty at the Triennale in Milan, and Beniamino de’ Liguori, General Secretary of Fondazione Adriano Olivetti, will focus on the Olivetti legacy. Moderated by Caterina Toschi, NYU Florence.
Caterina Toschi’s The Olivetti Idiom (1952-1979), published by Quodlibet both in Italian and English editions, will be presented at the opening. Curated by Caterina Toschi and produced by Ellyn Toscano for New York University. Installation by Cosimo Vardaro. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the contribution of the archival materials held by the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti (AASO) in Ivrea.
THE OLIVETTI IDIOM (1952-1979) – BOOK
The volume aims to reconstruct, through photographs and documents, the development of the Olivetti corporate identity from 1952 to 1979, as it was conveyed through various types of spaces for the exposition and description of its products: exhibitions, stores and its school. The display methods and the written, oral and visual forms of ‘storytelling’ that brought the instantly-recognizable Olivetti idiom international success come together here for the first time, from the little-known exposition Olivetti: Design in Industry, held from October to November 1952 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to the CISV, Centro Istruzione e Specializzazione Vendite (Center for Teaching Specializations of Olivetti Sales) (1954-1979), the first Italian school of marketing with a technical/humanistic focus, portrayed here through archival documentation and photographs by Paolo Monti and Gabriele Basilico.
Photos by Aldo Ballo, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Erich Hartmann, Wayne Miller and Ugo Mulas document Olivetti showrooms and stores designed by Gae Aulenti, Ignazio Gardella, Leo Lionni, Carlo Scarpa and BBPR Studio, in major international metropolises (Buenos Aires, Chicago, Düsseldorf, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Venice, Vienna), as well as the traveling exposition Stile Olivetti (1961-1966) shown around the world in cities including Zurich, Nairobi and Hong Kong. The experimental exhibition Formes et Recherche (1969-1971), conceived by Gae Aulenti and depicted in photographs by Giorgio Colombo and Ugo Mulas, concludes this chapter in Olivetti’s history, a legacy of excellence that contributed much to building the identity of Italian industry.