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. 

That kind of vocabulary was very new to me, but in a way very close to me. I'm a Mediterranean girl, I like colours, and probably something touched me. [Modernism] was something I could work with easily.

Martine Bedin

Martine Bedin

Martine Bedin’s designs are best known for their colorful, kitschy, and expressive attributes. The Bordeaux born designer first studied architecture in Paris before moving to Florence in 1978 where she was introduced to members of the Radical Architecture movement including the founders of Superstudio, Studio Alchimia, and Archizoom Associati. After an introduction to Ettore Sottsass and sharing her bold designs, she became a founding member of the Italian design collaborative Memphis Group in 1981. The Super Lamp and Terminus Lamp, produced in the same year, became two of her most iconic designs. Her work has been included in major exhibitions at institutions such as the Centre Pompidou and included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Today, Bedin lives and works in Paris as an architect, industrial designer, and professor.

Learn More

Auction Results Martine Bedin