MARIO BELLINI: Sleek and Sophisticated
Mario Bellini, born in Milan in 1935 is one of the leading designers in postwar Italian style, his furniture is considered in the postmodern genre. He attended the Politecnico di Milano for a degree in architecture and graduated in 1959. In 1963, he began his own practice, Studio Bellini. That same year, Bellini was hired as chief design consultant for Olivetti, a role that he held until 1993. Working with Olivetti and Cassina, he gained knowledge of synthetic resins and polyurethanes. As an independent consultant, Bellini has also designed important furniture pieces for Cassina, B&B Italia and Vitra, as well as electronic equipment for Brionvega and Yamaha and lighting for Artemide, Flos and Erco. He notably worked as Editor-in-Chief from 1985-1991 for one of the most important and influential architecture and design magazines, Domus. Mario Bellini does not believe in precise boundaries of design, instead, he designs for the relationship of man and environment. His work has ranged from urban planning and architecture to furniture and product design. Additionally, he has worked for Fiat, Lancia, Natuzzi and Poltrona Frau. Mr. Bellini is still working today as well as leading seminars and workshops at universities and academic institutions around the world.
The Camaleonda Sofa (circa early 1970s), shown here with matching ottomans in an original caramel leather is one of Bellini’s most collectible pieces. This modular reconfigurable sofa with an overstuffed profile is on trend with the current wave of curvilinear furniture pieces.
Table lamp, Model Area 20 for Artemide, has earned a place in the permanent exhibition of New York’s MoMA and at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Constructed of a ceramic base with a fabric lampshade embellished with the creators’ photo printed on canvas by photographer Conti Simone, this icon of design is elegant and simple.
The IL Colonnato table, is a commanding presence in a space. One of Bellini’s most sought after pieces, the table is constructed entirely from solid red travertine marble. The minimal design boasts five column legs and its’ rich earthy tones work beautifully in an interior environment.
The red leather Cassina 405 Duc armchair practically begs the viewer to sit down and relax. The four overstuffed square leather cushions are encased in a cube-like outer profile, c. 1970’s.
CAB 415 lounge chairs for Cassina 1980s. The black buffalo leather upholstery is zippered over the structural steel frame to create a unique sleek design.
An example of Bellini’s design work with electronics. These cube radios by Mario Bellini for Siemens, c. 1968 showcase his ability to work in many areas of design. The Space Age design, is both functional and pleasing to the eye. The radio runs either off electricity or battery so is fully mobile.
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