Meta-Memphis Italian Furniture Manufacturing Firm

Room interior designed by Memphis Group

Meta-Memphis was an Italian furniture manufacturing firm.

Background

Meta-Memphis was set up in 1988 when Ettore Sottsass, the original founder of Memphis (1981โ€”88), decided to close shop, stating that an innovative idea has a life of five to seven years. Ernesto Gismondi, president of Artemide, which originally sold the Memphis line and gave it showroom space, retained ownership of the Memphis name. In 1989 in Venice, Gismondi unveiled what he called โ€˜Meta-Memphis.โ€™ The initial collection consisted of 20 pieces by ten artist designers (in contrast to Sottsassโ€™s industrial designers), including Sandro Chia, Joseph Kossuth, Lawrence Weiner, and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Sottsass scornfully disapproved of โ€˜art furnitureโ€™ and likewise of Meta-Memphis. The firmโ€™s line was priced as if it were fine art and not limited-production furniture. The old designs from the Memphis collection continued to be produced.

Source

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

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