At Museocity, the Molteni Group presents “Officina Mangiarotti @ Molteni Museum”; an in-depth look by Fulvio Irace, mounted by Ron Gilad, of the strong and long-standing relationship between Angelo Mangiarotti (1921-2012) and the Molteni Group, which ranged from architecture to design and to sculpture. The exhibition, on show from 3 March to 29 September 2023,, can be seen in the Molteni Museum, at the Molteni Compound in Giussano.
In the Sixties – when Molteni&C decided to devote its entire production to design furniture, abandoning its traditional Italian period styles – Angelo Mangiarotti was already an established architect, well known in both the architecture and design fields.
His products included the innovative 4D modular furniture system designed in 1966 for the entrepreneur Michele Casaluci: an abacus of simple, finished, interchangeable and matching elements, featuring vertical angular details that were both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Angelo Molteni was so impressed as to take over the Casaluci firm in Rovellasca and turn it into UNIFOR EMME 3, including the 4D range in the Molteni&C catalogue, thereby marking a shift towards modernity. He was so convinced that he commissioned the same architect to design the new and innovative UniFor factory in Turate.
As technical sponsor, UniFor - member of Molteni Group - supports the “Angelo Mangiarotti. When Structures Take Shape” exhibition, organised by Triennale Milano from 27 January until 23 April 2023, curated by Fulvio Irace, with Francesca Albani, Franz Graf (architecture section), Luca Pietro Nicoletti (sculpture section), Marco Sammicheli (design section) and with the support of Giulio Barazzetta. Triennale Milano, in collaboration with Fondazione Angelo Mangiarotti, is dedicating one of the most complete and exhaustive retrospectives ever devoted to the Milanese architect and designer. The exhibition covers over 60 years of his production through a wide selection of works, projects, documents and materials - many of which have never been on public display before.
Triennale Milano, in collaboration with Fondazione Angelo Mangiarotti, is dedicating one of the most complete and exhaustive retrospectives ever devoted to the Milanese architect and designer.
The exhibition covers over 60 years of his production through a wide selection of works, projects, documents and materials - many of which have never been on public display before.
This choral narrative is the result of studies conducted since the hundredyear anniversary of Angelo Mangiarotti’s birth, which attempt to replicate the complexity and multidisciplinary nature of this intellectual, capable of embracing multiple fields in his work, while maintaining a consistent design and spirit of experimentation.
The exhibition layout is curated by Studio Ottavio Di Blasi & Partners with the participation of Renzo Piano. The experimental feel typical of Angelo Mangiarotti’s studio-workshop is achieved by a series of panels, platforms and tables, in addition to large photographic prints, models, prototypes, products and sketches.
UniFor was in charge of producing the set-up. Based on the metal structure of one of the brand’s iconic products, Progetto 25 designed by Luca Meda, UniFor produced 500 m² of large basswood panels, which act as the backdrop to the display of sketches, photographs and documents. The main table, which is 12 metres in length and 3.20 metres wide, is the result of a painstaking design process conducted in close partnership with Studio Ottavio Di Blasi & Partners, and it showcases the display materials along with a second and third table.
The large work surfaces, also in natural basswood, are distinguished by the presence of a raised central island used to display the models. They appear to float in mid-air as the load-bearing metal structure has been set back, while a perimeter frame incorporates the lighting system and supports the horizontal protective glazing.
The bond between UniFor and Angelo Mangiarotti is strong and long-standing. Arising from the similarity of shared views in both design and architecture, the collaboration began with the production of the 4D cabinet, which was up until the 1980s part of the Molteni&C catalogue, and with the design and construction of the architecture and interiors of UniFor’s production plant in Turate, which took place between 1970 and 1985.
These were followed by the development during the 2000s of the Out-Inside system, a reflection on modular furniture implemented through the prototyping of one of the essential components of the architect’s thinking: the joint.
Going beyond mere architecture and design, the relationship between UniFor and Mangiarotti also succeeded in embracing his passion for sculpture, with the exhibition of the Asimmetria gravitazionale sculptures at the UniFor showroom in Corso Matteotti (2002) and the production of the Divenire sculptures for the headquarters in Turate (2003) and the showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne (2006 - 2008).
Some of these very same projects are on show at Triennale Milano, in the form of documents, sketches and prototypes borrowed, among others, from the UniFor Archives, from the Molteni&C Archives, from the permanent collection of Triennale Milano and from Fondazione Angelo Mangiarotti.
The exhibition is accompanied by a video production, entitled “Un Angelo su Milano: Mangiarotti e la città” (An Angel over Milan: Mangiarotti and the city), curator Fulvio Irace, director by Francesca Molteni, produced by Muse Factory of Projects in collaboration with Fondazione Angelo Mangiarotti and promoted by Molteni Group. The short film provides a synthesis of Mangiarotti’s technical and artistic contribution to the city of Milan.