R & Company is pleased to announce Mela Morsicata a solo exhibition of pioneering Italian Radical Design group Studio65 opening on the upper level of the gallery’s 64 White Street location. This is the first major overview of Studio65 in the United States and the exhibition draws together their most important early works. Presented for the first time at the gallery is a selection of rare and iconic designs, early prototypes and one of a kind works alongside archival drawings, photographs and ephemera that demonstrate the vision behind this influential group.
Studio65 was founded by Franco Audrito at the age of twenty-three alongside members: Roberta Garosci, Enzo Bertone, Paolo Morello, and Paolo Rondelli in Torino in 1965. The driving force behind the group was social and political and the work they created was a direct response to the cultural climate of Italy during the time.
In the 2017 R & Company SuperDesign film by Maria Cristina Didero and director Francesca Molteni, Franco Audrito states, “We started a kind of architecture as demolition art, as a complaint of values, and we started this critical attitude in the faculty.”
The exhibition presents a selection of the most significant works from Studio65 including rare and never seen before pieces. When first entering the gallery visitors are presented with a large figurative mural originally designed by Studio65 in the 1970’s for the Piscina Terme di Caracalla. Alongside the mural are two works that reference the classical Adam and Eve biblical story: a foam caterpillar sofa titled “Bruco Tentatore" (a parody of the serpent of temptation) and a foam apple chair titled "Mela Morsicata Apple". Other highlights in the exhibition include "Baby-Lonia”, a series of children's building blocks that were designed originally in the 1970s as educational tools for schools, as well as "Caduta Di Babilonia" one of two beds that Studio65 ever designed.
Also on view are their most iconic and well-known pieces including the “Bocca” lip sofa and a rare 1971 edition of the popular “Capitello” pillar lounge chair.
These works are presented alongside a selection of original drawings, architectural renderings and rare photographs that tell the comprehensive story behind this revolutionary group. Together they curated exhibition demonstrates the idealistic dreams of Studio65 whose visions and influence continues to be relevant today.