Curatorial Alchemy

Our paths first crossed, unknown until many years later, at an intimate yet bustling wedding reception in a south Chicago apartment. This was probably 30 years ago, perhaps even the same year a new gallery, Torno Wright, opened at the end of my street to a fanfare of Eames, heralding new changes to come. Criss-crossing breezes of chance encounters, meandering spirits, hazy focus of time and space, of enthusiasm and knowledge sought, now united again in the same city.

That same serendipity, prompting impulse and discovery, guided welcome reward in the crucible of that great industrial city, still littered with the artefacts of the American mid-century. It was within this uneven yet fertile terrain, hidden slightly below surface, that Patrick’s intuitive talent—honed first as photographer then embellished as artist—would treasure the valuable neglected as passionate collector, and then as the inspirational dealer that I was to meet again, years later in New York City.

If asked to select one word to describe Patrick, I would resist and pick two. The first would be curiosity—a fundamental essential, to stimulate inquiry and rigour in all things, both great and small, of any era or region, type or surface. Even the most fleeting survey of this selection for sale is a celebration of innovation and of inspiration—an unerring eye for the unusually exceptional, or perhaps the exceptionally unusual. The chances are, that these are indeed discoveries that you have not yet realized that you needed to make.

Mentor, would be my second word. If artefacts and objects articulate visual, cultural and historic language, then the fluency of skillful mentorship—to guide, nurture, describe and explain—releases the eloquence of murmuring histories. In this capacity Patrick is that most earnest and sincere of excellent narrators. If ever I had friends, clients or colleagues visiting New York looking for unusual inspiration, there was always the certainty that Patrick’s gallery would offer them a glimpse of the hitherto unseen or the unusually seductive, always with the reassurance of the most fascinating story waiting to be told.

Mentorship and curiosity, when balanced in equal measure, reveal the precious alchemy of a curator. And it is the duty of the mature curator to discern and detect, to cultivate change, and from there to pioneer, and to share. Innovation is never static, and the Present is already the Future. Fresh dialogs evolve, energies to be nurtured, opportunities to be guided. Renewed and re-orientated, Patrick now faces fully forward—as benefactor, interlocutor and mentor to a new, inquisitive generation of talented creators, and the quest for discovery rejuvenates.

— Simon Andrews
andrewsartadvisory.com

Enzo Mari 1932–2020

Irascible, polemical, and influential are just a few of the words most commonly associated with Italian artist, designer, critic, and theorist Enzo Mari, who is perhaps most famous for his favorite (and oft-repeated) quote: “Design is dead”. Born and raised in Cerano, a region of Piedmont, Mari moved to Milan in 1947 and worked a variety of jobs before enrolling in the prestigious Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in 1952. He studied art and literature with a specific focus on the psychology of vision, the planning of perceptive structures, and the methodology of design. Not long after graduating he met Bruno Danese, co-founder of the eponymous design brand Danese; it was an encounter that would shape the remainder of Mari’s career.

Danese and Mari both felt strongly that good design should be accessible, economic, and affordable. Mari designed a multitude of creations for the company, including the much admired 16 Animali wooden puzzle. Inspired by his own children as well as his research into Scandinavian toys, it was a toy made from a single piece of oak that, with one continuous cut, came apart into 16 separate animals. Mari went on to conceive of over 1500 designs for many premier Italian design companies including Driade, Artemide, Zanotta and Magis. He also created illustrations, books with Einaudi and Bollati Boringhieri, and works for children. One of his most memorable projects, and the one which best demonstrates his belief that design should be accessible to all, was his Proposta per un’Autoprogettazione (Proposal for a Self-design) series. It consisted of a set of diagrams that allowed anyone to build DIY furniture with cuts of pine and some nails, the instructions for which Mari would mail to anyone who sent him postage.

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Auction Results Enzo Mari

ENZO MARI, Samos centerpiece, model N | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos centerpiece, model N

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $30,000
ENZO MARI, Samos centerpiece, model O | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos centerpiece, model O

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $26,250
ENZO MARI, Samos centerpiece, model B | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos centerpiece, model B

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $25,000
ENZO MARI, Samos centerpiece, model P | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos centerpiece, model P

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $16,250
ENZO MARI, Samos vase, model Z | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos vase, model Z

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $13,750
ENZO MARI, Samos vase, model U | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos vase, model U

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $11,250
ENZO MARI, Samos vase, model W | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos vase, model W

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $11,250
ENZO MARI, Samos centerpiece, model S | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos centerpiece, model S

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $8,750
ENZO MARI, Cubos, collection of five | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Cubos, collection of five

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $8,125
ENZO MARI, Samos centerpiece, model L | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Samos centerpiece, model L

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $7,500
ENZO MARI, Cubos model 3018A, set of four | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Cubos model 3018A, set of four

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $6,875
ENZO MARI, chests, pair | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

chests, pair

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $6,000
ENZO MARI, Sifnos box, model 3065CB | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Sifnos box, model 3065CB

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $5,938
ENZO MARI, Rare 16 Animali puzzle, model 3015D | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Rare 16 Animali puzzle, model 3015D

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $5,625
ENZO MARI, Sedici Variazioni | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Sedici Variazioni

estimate: $2,500–3,000
result: $5,313
ENZO MARI, Variazione 719 | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Variazione 719

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $5,000
ENZO MARI, Cilindro, series L | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Cilindro, series L

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,688
ENZO MARI, Paros vide poche, model D1 | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Paros vide poche, model D1

estimate: $1,200–1,800
result: $4,063
ENZO MARI, Paperweight | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Paperweight

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $4,063
ENZO MARI, Putrella tray and dish | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Putrella tray and dish

estimate: $50–75
result: $4,063
ENZO MARI, Grande Cubo, series L | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Grande Cubo, series L

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,063
ENZO MARI, Tortiglione wastepaper basket, model 3083C | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Tortiglione wastepaper basket, model 3083C

estimate: $600–800
result: $4,063
ENZO MARI, Cubos, collection of four | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Cubos, collection of four

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $4,063
ENZO MARI, Cilindro, series L | wright20.com

Enzo Mari

Cilindro, series L

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,063