Enzo Mari exhibition at Cambridge Galleries

This exhibition runs from January 15 to February 22, 2009 at the Cambridge Galleries, Design at Riverside, located at 7 Melville Street South in Cambridge, Ontario. The opening reception takes place on Thursday, January 15 at 6:30 pm followed by a lecture by Enzo Mari at 7:30 pm.


Encompassing industrial, graphic and furniture design, this exhibition is an homage to Italian design legend Enzo Mari and includes 60 designs from his prolific 50+-year career. Originally assembled by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Los Angeles, Design at Riverside is pleased to collaborate with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Toronto in presenting the exclusive Canadian premiere and engagement of this exhibition.


The Enzo Mari exhibition presented by Design at Riverside is a small but impressive collection of designs that span Mari’s career. The exhibition is comprised of products from 12 different Italian and Japanese manufacturers (Alessi, Artemide, Danese, Driade, Hida Sangyo Co., Kartell, Magis, Muji, Poltrona Frau, Robots, Zani e Zani, Zanotta) that range from seating and shelving, to kitchen utensils, office accessories, children’s games and graphics. In addition, Design at Riverside has arranged in collaboration with Mari to expand the original exhibition to include a selection of development sketches for products exhibited and a short video featuring a wide range of work including unbuilt architectural projects not previously exhibited in North America.


The Enzo Mari exhibition is accompanied by a 64-page bilingual (English, Italian) exhibition catalogue with a preface by Hitoshi Abe, chair, UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design, an introduction by Francesca Valente, Director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Los Angeles and a tribute by Massimo Vignelli. The catalogue will be available from Design at Riverside for $10.


According to Abe in the catalogue’s preface, “This exhibition represents the finest examples of Mari’s designs as a result of his many years of engaging in research and design…His work has been positioned at the center of the international dialogue on design since the 1950’s as a result of his understanding of how art and design impact our daily lives.”


Enzo Mari was born in Novara, Italy in 1932. While still studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan he was invited to exhibit his art work at leading galleries and modern art museums in Italy. Parallel to this activity, he started working as a designer, initially on his own, then later in collaboration with numerous manufacturers in the fields of graphic design, product design and exhibition installations. During his long and productive career, Mari has designed more than 2,000 objects, is the subject of two monograph books, the winner of numerous prestigious awards and had his work exhibited and collected by significant museums throughout Europe.


Mari’s reputation as an innovator stems from his unending quest for and experimentation with new forms and manufacturing methods, his critical writings on the design process and his career-long emphasis on imbuing consumer products with greater meaning.


Cambridge Galleries’ exhibitions are free and open to the public. For further information, please call 519.621.0460 or visit www.cambridgegalleries.ca.