Picture © Philippe Gontier.

Coming soon in Milan

Io Sono Un Drago La vera storia di Alessandro Mendini

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About the exhibition

As part of their cultural partnership, Triennale Milano and Fondation Cartier co-organize and present a major retrospective of the work of Alessandro Mendini (1931 – 2019), architect, designer, artist, and theorist who left a mark on the revolutions in thinking and custom from the last century to the new millennium. The exhibition is realized in collaboration with Atelier Mendini.

The title of the exhibition Io sono un Drago (I'm a dragon) is inspired by one of his most emblematic self-portraits to emphasize the uniqueness of his presence in the design world. Curated by Fulvio Irace, the retrospective is divided into various thematic sections and brings together works of different formats, materials, and subjects, sourced from numerous public and private collections, and involves voices from all over the world.

Alessandro Mendini (1931-2019), an architect, designer, artist and critic born in Milan, was among the theorists and promoters of the renewal of Italian design. He was interested in writing, theorising, and drawing and successively directed the magazines Casabella (1970-1976), Modo (1977-1981) and Domus (1980-1985; 2010-2011).

Monographs about his work and what he accomplished with Alchimia have been published in many languages. Mendini composed a fairy-tale world of objects, furniture, settings, paintings and architecture. He worked with international companies and was a consultant to various industries, including in the Far East.

An honorary member of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, he received three Compasso d’Oro awards for design (1979 - 1981 - 2014), and was honoured as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France, with the Architectural League in New York, and with the European Prize for Architecture 2014 in Chicago. Mendini also received four degrees Honoris Causa in Milan, Paris, Wroclaw (Poland) and Seoul (Korea). His works are on display in museums and private collections.

The Fondation Cartier has presented works by Alessandro Mendini in numerous exhibitions in Paris and abroad, some of which are part of its collection. Mendini’s work seems to have two different souls: one is solitary and introverted; the other is focused on group work. Indeed, Mendini did many projects alone, but just as many with the groups he put together.

In 1989 he opened Atelier Mendini alongside his brother, the architect Francesco Mendini, with whom he designed the Groningen Museum in the Netherlands, the Art Stations of the Naples Underground in Italy and public and private buildings in Europe and Asia.