Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sugar bowl

Designer:
Mario Bellini (Italian, born Milan 1935)
Manufacturer:
Cleto Munari
Date:
1980
Medium:
Silverplate and rose quartz
Dimensions:
4 5/8 x 4 5/8 x 2 1/2 in. (11.7 x 11.7 x 6.4 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of Cleto Munari, 1990
Accession Number:
1990.96.1
Not on view
Although trained as an architect, Bellini is known less for his buildings than for his product designs; he is one of the most influential Italian designers working today. This tea and coffee service, a prototype for the silversmith Cleto Munari, reveals Bellini's strong architectural background. All its elements are reduced to minimal geometry: squares, circles, cylinders, a hemisphere. The abstract severity of the individual pieces is offset by the richness of the materials, and the overall effect is monumental. The tea- and coffeepots, set within palisades of rose-quartz columns, call to mind the peristyles of circular Roman temples. Postmodernist designers customarily refer to a classical past through the use of historical detail. Bellini, however, suggests the discipline of classical architecture through form alone, without using any sort of conventional ornament.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part IV: 1975-2000," June 25, 2001–January 6, 2002, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Highlights from the Modern Design Collection: 1900 to the Present," June 23, 2009–May 1, 2011.

London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970–1990," September 24, 2011–January 15, 2012, no. 88.

Barbara Burn, ed. Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 316, ill. (color).



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