What the [Memphis] movement—and Sottsass and Mendini—taught me was an attitude towards life: the attitude of someone who does not believe in a discipline as such but sees a much broader horizon….What one does is the result of a journey, in an almost spiritual or anthropological sense.

Aldo Cibic

Living With Memphis

Memphis only lasted six years, yet the radical design collective made a lasting impact on the field of design. Memphis challenged the aesthetics of Modernism and, as Aldo Cibic explains, “reset everything design had seen before”. 

Identifiable and bold, Memphis designs found their way onto movie sets and into the homes of forward-thinking and creative luminaries such as Karl Lagerfeld, whose Monaco penthouse was bursting with the bold designs that he acquired directly from Ettore Sottsass and David Bowie who collected Memphis alongside important modern and postmodern art. Memphis also found its way into retail establishments such as Macy's and Bloomingdale's and in the years since its introduction, museum collections across the globe. 

Dennis Zanone first saw the work of Memphis in 1984 during its first American tour and over the past several decades, he amassed an impressive collection that rivals the depth and breadth of Lagerfeld’s and is the largest since the fashion designer’s, which sold at Sotheby's in 1991. Zanone has lived with Memphis and is a champion of the movement. The incredible group of works offered in this sale has been extensively researched and was the basis of the 2014 Memphis-Milano: 1980s Italian Design exhibition at The Dixon Museum. 

Aldo Cibic b. 1955

Born in 1955 in Vicenza, Italy, Aldo Cibic began his design career at the tender age of twenty-two, apprenticing in Ettore Sottsass’s studio in Milan, despite not having any formal education. He became a founding member of the firm Sottsass & Associati in 1980 and that same year was invited by Sottsass to be part of Memphis group. While part of the group, Cibic created impactful furniture with a heroic architectural presence and humanistic design language. Though short-lived, Memphis and its many talented designers instilled in Cibic an experimental and intuitive approach to design that would influence the rest of his career. After Memphis disbanded in 1987, he established Cibic & Partners, a firm that did architectural, exhibition and interior design with a focus on sustainability, social responsibility and the relationship between people and spatial identity. Today, Cibic continues to design and lectures at prestigious universities such as the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Domus Academy, Milan and the Royal College of Art, London. Most recently, Cibic worked on the project Rethinking Happiness, presented at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2010, which brought him to establish Cibicworkshop, a studio and research space devoted to creating designs aimed at bettering public spaces and social interactions. In 2015 Cibic was selected to curate the Venice Architectural Biennal and in 2019 his studio was named one of the one-hundred best architectural firms in the world.

Auction Results Aldo Cibic