“The Olivetti Idiom (1952-1979)” exhibition at Villa La Pietra Florence

March 14, 2018

The exhibition seeks to reconstruct through photographs and documents the history of the Olivetti image from 1952 to 1979, examining three places where Olivetti products were displayed (exhibitions, stores and the school), in which narrative forms – oral, written, and visual – of the Olivetti identity were progressively developed.

 

Jukebox Ettore Sottsass, Jr., Jukebox, 1968. Photo by Gianni Berengo Gardin.

Jukebox Ettore Sottsass, Jr., Jukebox, 1968. Photo by Gianni Berengo Gardin.

 

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.


 

Practical information

“The Olivetti Idiom (1952-1979)”
March 14 – May 5, 2018
Villa Sassetti
Via Bolognese 120, NYU Florence
Italy

 


A roundtable discussion on Olivetti visual culture, its experimental identity and corporate image between the 1950s and 1980s, and its legacy. Giorgio ColomboPerry 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.

 

Olivetti Building Architect Alberto Galardi, Florence, 1971. Photo: Gabriele Basilico. Courtesy Studio Gabriele Basilico, Milan. © Studio Gabriele Basilico.

Olivetti Building Architect Alberto Galardi, Florence, 1971. Photo: Gabriele Basilico. Courtesy Studio Gabriele Basilico, Milan. © Studio Gabriele Basilico.

Formes et Recherche Italo Calvino Visiting the Exposition Formes et Recherche, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, November 20, 1969 – January 1, 1970. Photo: Ugo Mulas. © Eredi Ugo Mulas. Tutti i diritti riservati. Courtesy Archivio Ugo Mulas, Milan – Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan – Naples.

Formes et Recherche, Italo Calvino Visiting the Exposition Formes et Recherche, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, November 20, 1969 – January 1, 1970. Photo: Ugo Mulas. © Eredi Ugo Mulas. Tutti i diritti riservati. Courtesy Archivio Ugo Mulas, Milan – Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan – Naples.

 

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.

 

Concept and Form External View of the Exposition Concept and Form, Euston Station Plaza, London, October 20 – November 22, 1970. Photo: Giorgio Colombo. © Giorgio Colombo, Milan.

Concept and Form, External View of the Exposition Concept and Form, Euston Station Plaza, London, October 20 – November 22, 1970. Photo: Giorgio Colombo. © Giorgio Colombo, Milan.

Olivetti: Design in Industry Olivetti Billboard, Museum of Modern art, New York, October 22 - November 30, 1952. © 2018. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Firenze.

Olivetti: Design in Industry, Olivetti Billboard, Museum of Modern art, New York, October 22 – November 30, 1952. © 2018. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Firenze.

 

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.

 

Olivetti Store in Venice Architect Carlo Scarpa, 1958. Photo by Paolo Monti. Courtesy Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea.

Olivetti Store in Venice
Architect Carlo Scarpa, 1958. Photo by Paolo Monti. Courtesy Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea.

Olivetti Innovates Hong Kong, October 19 – 25, 1966. Photo by Walter Ballmer. Courtesy Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea.

Olivetti Innovates
Hong Kong, October 19 – 25, 1966. Photo by Walter Ballmer. Courtesy Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea.

 

 

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.

 

Inaguration 4 Display

Inaguration Display

Inaguration 5 Visitors

Inaguration Visitors

Conference 4 Panelists

Conference Panelists

Conference 4 Panelists

Conference  Panelists


 

News source: Villa La Pietra
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