A loss, the umpteenth, of this cruel 2020. For this “artist of the month” we decided to make a tribute to Enzo Mari, defined by many as “the designer’s conscience”, who passed away at the age of 88 last October.

In his career Mari has received five Compassi d’Oro awards, the first in 1967 and the last in 2011.


Always fighting against the idea of design as an object for the rich only, Mari has created industrial products, exhibitions, books, children’s games and, above all, her 1974 Self-Design Proposal, a set of schemes that allow anyone to build sturdy and angular furniture with pine cuts and a few nails. The instructions were sent by mail to all those who sent him the stamp.

 

 

 

Mari made the posters La Mela, La Pera, and the entire Nature Series, with the aim of bringing artistic images into the living environment, pursuing an idea of seriality, and therefore accessibility, of art. Mari’s work is always born from a democratic and often political intent.

Mari called himself a communist and the idea that beautiful things should be within everyone’s reach, and therefore reproducible, was the basis of all his projects. Hence the master’s idea of experimenting with art multiples, and in particular silkscreens. He had also taken part in the Programmed Art movement, a movement that was based on the rationalization of artistic processes and brought the work of art closer to the industrial project.

 

Nature Series for Danese (1963 – 1976)

 

Until April 18, 2021, the Triennale di Milano hosts “Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist”, an exhibition that documents its more than 60 years of activity through projects, models, drawings, thematic insights – with often unpublished materials from the Enzo Mari Archive – and interventions by internationally renowned artists and designers.