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Enzo Mari


After studying at the Accademia di Brera, Enzo Mari (1932-2020) began his career in industrial design working with numerous industries in a variety of different sectors (including graphics, publishing and exhibition installations).
By the sixties he already held a prominent position on the Italian design scene, with a particular focus on the functional aspects of products.
A three-time Compasso d’Oro winner, in his work Mari addresses “problems with the psychology of vision and programming in the field of aesthetic research”, always in the context of reflection “on human work (...) from the intellectual/planning phase to manual or industrial execution” (Burkhardt, 1997).
In addition to producing a long series of objects (from vases to chairs, from bookshelves to bowls, with Danese, Driade and Zanotta), Mari has also been constantly active on the art scene, with solo shows and group shows in Italy and abroad. His work may be seen in contemporary art museums in Rome, Stockholm, Amsterdam and New York.
The focus of Mari’s theoretical research is the link between the mass-produced object and handcrafts, as in the volume 25 modi per piantare un chiodo (“25 ways to drive a nail”, 2011), in which he reflects on the foundations of 20th century Italian design.
He has participated in several Biennials (Venice, Zagreb) and in the Triennale in Milan. His work has been the focus of numerous volumes and exhibitions, including one held in 1983 by “Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione” in Parma including more than 9 thousand projects and drawings from his archives.
Mari was President of the Industrial Design Association between 1976 and 1979.
Enzo Mari selected Projects
- Tonietta chair, Zanotta, 1980
- Sumatra document holder - Danese, 1976
- Nature series - Danese Milano, 1961-1976
- Delfina chair - Driade, 1974
- Aggregate lighting system, Artemide, 1974
- Samos series: proposal for handcrafting porcelain - Danese, 1973
- Frate table, Driade, 1973
- Sof-sof chair - Driade, 1972
- In Attesa basket - Danese Milano, 1971
- Glifo modular bookshelf - Gavina, 1968
- Java tabletop sugar bowl, Danese Milano, 1968
- Paros marble vases - Danese Milano, 1964
- Nine objects (vases, ice bucket, trays, fruit bowls, table-top containers, bowls) - Danese Milano, 1960-69
- P cylinder - Danese Milano, 1963
- Putrella tray - Danese Milano, 1958
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