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. 

Massimo Iosa Ghini b. 1959

Born in Bologna, Italy in 1959, Massimo Iosa Ghini is an architect and designer who was one of the founding members of the influential Memphis group in the 1980s and has since become renowned for his product designs, museum and retail planning, and focus on sustainable building practices. Iosa Ghini studied architecture at Milan Polytechnic and, after graduating, worked designing sets for an Italian television channel. His work for Memphis was characterized by futuristic lines, industrial materials and a sense of movement—elements that would continue to inform his work. Along with Ettore Sottsass, Iosa Ghin is also one of the leading members of the “Bolidism” movement, a design approach centered on futurism and investigating humans’ relationships to the machine and media. His many accomplishments have been recognized by the design community at large and he was awarded the ADI Compasso D’Oro and the IAI Green Design Global Award, among others. Along with his wife Milena Mussi, Iosa Ghini established a design firm in 1990 that currently works from Milan, Bologna, Moscow and Miami. He also teaches at Ferrara University, inspiring younger generations of designers with his continually innovative and sensitive approach to design.

Auction Results Massimo Iosa Ghini