Ettore Sottsass Lives On in Trieste Exhibition

sottsass alessi.jpgAs we told you on Tuesday, design giant Ettore Sottsass died on December 31 at the age of 90, adding a new poignance to the exhibition of his work that opened last month in the Italian city of Trieste. As Deyan Sudjic pointed out in his excellent obituary of Sottsass published on Wednesday in The Guardian, “It would not be difficult to find yourself living a life shaped almost entirely by Sottsass….So many everyday things could bring you into an intimate physical connection with his work and his constantly inventive mind.” These everyday objects (everything from beds and bookshelves to flatware and light switches) are among the 130 works featured in “I Want to Know Why: A Show about Ettore Sottsass,” which runs until March 2nd at the Salone degli Incanti dell’ex Pescheria.

The show is organized thematically, with sections that focus on architecture, industrial design, photography, drawing, ceramics, jewelry, and glass. Each of the seven island-like zones contains a “temple” in which visitors can discover objects, drawings, and photos–a nod to the exhibition’s title quote, excerpted from Sottsass’ musing on Indian temples. Guiding vistors through the works is the recorded voice of Sottsass, who tells the stories behind the creation of various pieces.

“I would like the visitors to leave [the exhibition] crying,” Sottsass said last fall. “That is, with emotion.” His wish appears to have come true.