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Groninger Museum to host exhibition curated by Alessandro Mendini

Tuesday 21 May 2019
1 Alessandro Mendini
1 Alessandro Mendini

The Groninger Museum building turns 25 this year. In honour of its chief architect, Alessandro Mendini, the museum will mount a major exhibition the famous Italian designer put together and designed shortly before he passed away. Mondo Mendini – The World of Alessandro Mendini features not only Mendini’s own work but also that of artists with whom he felt a kinship. Encompassing visual arts as well as architecture and design, the show boasts a richly varied selection of more than 200 objects. Mondo Mendini exudes the exceptional creativity and humour of the designer who gave Groningen an internationally celebrated landmark.

The exhibition

More than two years ago, the museum gave Alessandro Mendini (1931–2019) free rein to compile an exhibition of his work. He was enthusiastic about putting together a major exhibition for ‘his’ museum. In Mondo Mendini, Mendini showcases among others his most famous works, including a three-metre-high version of Poltrona di Proust, the kitschy armchair covered with coloured dots (collection Fondation Cartier). Also present is Anna G, the dancer-shaped corkscrew that became a bestseller for Alessi. The exhibition contains a wide selection of works from Mendini’s diverse oeuvre, from jewellery to architectural models, household objects to large sculptures. Rejecting hierarchical divisions between architecture, autonomous art and design – between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art – he became one of postmodernism’s most distinctive designers. His designs are often colourful, decorative and surprising in form: imagination takes precedence over functionality. About the rich expressiveness of his oeuvre, Mendini said: "My work is like a novel in which seriousness, pain, comedy and poetry exist side by side. And my objects are the tragicomic characters."

Mondo Mendini will be on show from 12 October 2019 through 5 May 2020 at the Groninger Museum.

Anniversary year

Its building’s 25th anniversary takes centre stage in the Groninger Museum’s programme this year. Along with Mondo Mendini – The World of Alessandro Mendini, the exhibitions Pronkjewails – Design from Past and Present and From Swip Stolk to Rudo Menge – 25 Years of Posters for the Groninger Museum also honour this special occasion. October, the museum’s birthday month, will boast plenty of festivities, including a party weekend with free admission and an extensive schedule of activities on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October.

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