Alessandro Mendini

This striking chair is one of Mendini’s best known work’s.  La Poltrona di Proust is one of his re-interpreted “classics”, modified by the addition of structural or decorative elements that change the dynamics of the original.

In an allusion to the description of time and space in Marcel Proust’s writings “In Search of Lost Time”, the old-styled armchair is painted in the pointillist style of Paul Signac.

In Proust’s novel, the narrator states…  “memory – not about the place where I am right now, but about a couple of places I had lived before and have been before – descends upon me like a saviour from above and rescues me from the emptiness which I cannot escape by myself”. 

In other words he is suggesting that from our memories we can rediscover ourselves and help lead us to remember our identities and revive the significance of our lives.

The “points” of colour in the chair then are not only intended for visual delight  but they also represent little fragments of memory which together form a uniform identity.

Proust also states “a travel that truly lets us discover something new is not to see a new scene, but to have new eyes to see the scene”.  Similarly,  Mendini does not want to create something new, instead he redesigns from an existing form and successfully transforms the inherent essence of the object to give it a new significance.

Author: Dorothy de Lautour

Dorothy graduated with a degree in Design and Visual Arts (Contemporary Craft - Jewellery) at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand. She was selected as an exhibitor for Objectspace's "Best in Show - 2012" and has exhibited in Wellington for NZ Academy of Fine Arts and in Auckland at Lopdell House.

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