Claudio Salocchi, Bookcase, 1960, Manufacturer: Sormani, Metal, lacquered wood, pivoting base, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.

Martino Gamper, Shelving Systems are a State of Design Mind

Angelo Mangiarotti and Bruno Morassutti, Cavalletto, 1955, Walnut, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.

Ico Parisi, Urio, 1960, Black lacquered metal, teak, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.

Bruno Mathsson, Bookcase, 1943, Manufacturer: Karl Mathsson, Oregon pine shelves, birch brackets, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.

Anna Castelli Ferrieri, Bookcase, 1946, Manufacturer: Pietro Crespi, wall lights by Lumi, Bookcase: Walnut-veneered wood, painted metal, Wall lights: painted metal, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.


Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
+ 44 20 7402 6075
Martino Gamper:
design is a state of mind
March 5- April 21, 2014

Influential London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper guest-curates a new exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.. design is a state of mind will present a landscape of shelving systems, telling the story of design objects and their impact on our lives. This is the second major design exhibition staged by the Serpentine, following Design Real curated by Konstantin Grcic in 2009.

Martino Gamper said: “There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale.”

An extensive display of shelving systems from the 1930s to the present day will form the backbone of the exhibition. Ranging from historic design classics and one-off pieces, to industrial, utilitarian, contemporary and newly commissioned work, the exhibition will include designs by Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, Ercol, Gio Ponti and IKEA.

Each display system will also be used to organise and exhibit collections of objects curated from the personal archives of Gamper’s friends and colleagues as well as an extensive library of contemporary furniture manufacturing catalogues from around the world. Among the designers whose collections will be displayed are: Oiva Toikka; Enzo Mari; Paul Neale; Max Lamb; Jane Dillon; Michael Marriott; Sebastian Bergne; Gemma Holt; Fabien Cappello; Adam Hills; Michael Anastassiades; Andrew McDonagh & Andreas Schmidt, Jerszy Seymour and Martino Gamper himself.

design is a state of mind runs concurrently with an expansive exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery by American artist Haim Steinbach, which will include key works from throughout his impressive forty year career. Furthering the Serpentine’s commitment to contemporary design, both exhibitions highlight objects that have made a significant impact on our lives and offer new perspectives on material culture.

Working across design and art venues, Martino Gamper engages in a variety of projects from exhibition design, interior design, specialist of one-off commissions and the design of mass-produced products for the cutting edge of the international furniture industry. Gamper has worked in the public realm, with designs for London’s Design Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum; Wellcome Trust; Yerba Buena Centre, San Francisco; Frieze Art Fair, London. Commissions include the design of public street furniture for Park-to-Park, London in collaboration with LTGDC, Genève and a chair called Vigna for Magis, Italy. He was the recipient of the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art, 2011 and Wallpaper Award for Best Use of Colour, 2011.

Portrait of Martino Gamper, 2014, © Angus Mill.

Martino Gamper, Robot Chair, 2008, © Angus Mill.

Michele De Lucchi, Montefeltro, 2008, Oak frame, walnut elements, linseed oil finishing, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.

Andrea Branzi, Wall bookshelf, 2011, Toulipiè, crystal, Image: Riboni, Courtesy of Nilufar.

Vico Magistretti, Nuvola Rossa (double set), 1977, Manufacturer: Cassina, Image: Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti.