|Carlo Molino | women & furnitures
Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) was an architect, designer, photographer and writer, not to mention a race-car driver and a pilot. His buildings include the Royal Theatre in Turin, and his furniture, like his photography, is ever more valuable. In 2005, a Mollino table sold for $3.8 million, setting a world record for twentieth-century decorative art.
Architect Carlo Mollino was born in 1905 and trained at the Polytechnic in Turin, where he graduated in 1931. A skier, driver, and aeroplane pilot, Mollino soon found himself well inserted in the lively cultural environment in Turin, between the two wars, where he made friends with personalities in the world of culture and art. Together with his meticulous technical training, which paid particular attention to functional aspects, in his projects there was always crosstalk between elements of modernity and a considerable sensibility for the past.
From 1933 to 1973, the year when he suddenly died, he made a total of only about ten architectural works. Particularly noteworthy among his masterpieces was the Società Ippica Torinese (19371940) in which rationalism intensifies and extols metaphysical elements, the building for the Slittovia di Lago Nero (1946-1947) in which the traditional Alpine ski-lift building was rethought in original form, and the new Teatro Regio in Turin (1965-1973), which interior Mollino himself referred to as "a shape somewhere between an egg and a half-open oyster".
Equally important was his work as an interior designer. His Casa Miller (1936) and Casa Devalle (1939-1940) reveal a surrealist taste. In 1949 he started teaching at the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic of Turin, and the following year he was invited to take part in a travelling exhibition in eleven American museums.
Mollino never worked for large industry. Most of his furniture were carried out as one-off items. The most prolific years of his career came to a sudden end in December 1953, with the death of his father Eugenio. The architect's activities were suspended in favour of his passion for motoring and aerobatics.
In 1954 he designed Nube d'Argento, an exhibition for the national gas company, and the following year he created, amongst others, a racing car, the Bisiluro, which took part that year in the 24 Hours at Le Mans. Later he created two record cars remained in a model state.
In 1960 Mollino returned to his work as an architect and started redesigning the apartment in Via Napione in Turin, which is now Museo Casa Mollino. Carlo Mollino left several essays and books, ranging from narrative to architecture, and on to skiing technique and photographic criticism, including Il Messaggio dalla Camera Oscura, which was written in 1943 and published in 1949.
On the third floor of the Castello di Rivoli there is an exhibition that illustrates Mollino's great passion for photography, which was an extremely important aspect of his work. The display of his photographs includes material never shown before from international collections and from Museo Casa Mollino. A broad selection of works - over two hundred in number - together with emblematic items will make it possible to bring together various moments of what was always an intimate part of Mollino's relationship with his own creativity.
The photographic works of the Turin-born architect can be divided into five main sections: photomontages of architectural items and photographs of interiors for specialised journals, black and white photography of a surrealist nature from around the 1940s, ski photography - which was mainly made for his volume on skiing techniques - photography from the second half of the 1960s and, lastly, his Polaroid shots of female portraits that he made from the 1960s up to the time of his death.
The exhibition is curated by Museo Casa Mollino di Torino, founded by Fulvio and Napoleone Ferrari, which has been devoted since 1985 to promoting the figure of Carlo Mollino in Italy and abroad. Fulvio Ferrari curated the first exhibition of the architect's works in Italy in 1985, and in 1994 the first photographic retrospective of Mollino in the United States. He’ s the author of several monographic publications on the work of Mollino published in Europe, the US and Japan.
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