Memphis Minimal


Nidus memphismilano title

The second exhibition entitled “Memphis Minimal” opens on February 18, 2022 in the Nidus Architecture Gallery. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration with Harry Schellenberg, collector and founder of Gusch Düsseldorf.

Colorful, provocative and iconic – Memphis Milano. The furniture designs of the Italian designer group, which was founded in Milan in 1980/81, constitute the radical departure from functionalism. A dogma that has shaped design and architecture many decades before. The particularly popular and memorable furniture, interiors or patterns are exactly that: colorful, strong in form and always a little more of everything.

However, if you look more closely at the designs, they are conscious compositions, carefully put together shapes and elements. Many of the designs look more like sculptures or small architectures, sometimes even reduced and minimalist. No wonder, many of the protagonists are not just designers, but rather cross-border artists in their respective disciplines: design, architecture, art. Given this background, it is not surprising that architectural proportions and dimensional relationships known from buildings play an important role in the designs.

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Exhibition View at the Architecture Gallery

Ettore Sottsass, the central figure in the Memphis cosmos, once said: “I’ve heard that someone has said that my (sadly, few) architectural works are overblown pieces of furniture, whereas I think it’s the other way round: that all the furniture I’ve designed so far is just shrunken architecture“.

The exhibition is designed as a dialogue: selected furniture designs were removed from their scale and placed in new, fictional, spatial contexts. In the form of drawings, what the creators of the designs started is further developed: the combination of archetypal forms, the breaking of viewing habits and a playful approach to the banalities of everyday life.

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The furniture designs on display come from, among others, Ettore Sottsass, Michele de Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier and Martine Bedine. The drawings are full of quotes, a little Sottsass, a little du Pasquier, maybe also Aldo Rossi or Giorgio de Chirico, but they were created by Nidus.

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Exhibition View at the Architecture Gallery

Where does your passion for collecting furniture come from?
I've always had to collect all sorts of things. I think one is born a collector. The main drive is always a mix of addiction and serendipity. It's always a great moment to find and purchase a long-sought piece.

How do you build your collection?
That is hard to say. I always rely on my eyes and gut feeling. Some things you quickly get tired of, others have soul and become more and more interesting over time and you feel that they have to stay.

What do you particularly like about Memphis Milano?
Above all, for me it all revolves around Sottsass. His eye for beauty and his very own, simple language as well as his skill in presenting himself have always impressed me.

A look into the future?
From summer onwards there will be a new location with significantly more space for the collection and of course many new, interesting objects!

And finally: Your favorite places in Düsseldorf?
Art Academy and Carlstadt.

About Gusch Düsseldorf

Gusch Düsseldorf is a collection focused on significant design and collectibles from 20th century architects and artists with gallery spaces in Düsseldorf and Krefeld. Since its inception in 2018, the collection's main goal has been to explore the connection between art and design.

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