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"The Structures Tremble"

Designer:
Ettore Sottsass (Italian (born Austria), Innsbruck 1917–2007 Milan)
Manufacturer:
Studio Alchymia (Italian)
Date:
1979
Medium:
Plastic laminate, composition board, painted steel, rubber, glass
Dimensions:
H. 46, W.19-3/4, D. 19-3/4 in. (116.8 x 50.2 x 50.2 cm.) "a" Table Base: H. 45-3/4 x W. 15-3/4 x D. 15 3/4 in (116.2 x 40 x 40 cm) "b" Glass Top: H. 1/4 x W. 19-3/4 x D. 19-3/4 (.6 x 50.2 x 50.2 cm)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Theodore R. Gamble Jr. Gift, in honor of his mother, Mrs. Theodore Robert Gamble, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.64.2a, b
On view at The Met Breuer on Floor 3
Studio Alchymia was founded in 1976 in Milan as a think tank for designers rebelling against the functionalist approach of modernism. Their products were intended as prototypes or unique exhibition pieces. The Structures Tremble is a perfect example of Alchymia’s philosophy. Comprising everyday, even banal materials, the table becomes an art object through its design, also transforming whatever is displayed on top of it. The piece embodies the ironic qualities that would characterize Memphis furniture a few years later. The glass and steel tubing is a nod to the Bauhaus, but its undulations and pastel colors give the table a decidedly antimodernist twist. Sottsass left Studio Alchymia after only one year, as he differed from the group in his opinion regarding mass production.
[Rocca 6, Turin, by 1986–87; sold to MMA]

Hans Höger. Ettore Sottsass, Jun.: Designer, Artist, Architect. Tübingen, 1993, colorpl. 71.



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