Radical Italian Design 1965-1985, the Dennis Freedman Collection


On February 14, 2020 the exhibition "Radical Italian Design 1965-1985, the Dennis Freedman Collection" was inaugurated at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The exhibition, which will remain open to the public until April 26, 2020, explores the years of "radical" design in Italy through more than 70 original pieces, including furniture, architectural models and other furnishing objects by Italian architects, designers and art collectives, belonging to the Dennis Freedman Collection. The term "radical" coined by Germano Celant, designates an artistic current intensely linked to Arte Povera and Pop Art, which emerged in the mid-60s in a cultural, economic and political environment in great ferment.

The exhibition traces the origins of "radical" design and its influences on subsequent artistic periods and generations of future designers, artists and architects who, in turn, left an indelible mark on Italian culture. On display works by Archizoom Associati, Andrea Branzi, Piero Giraldi, Ugo La Pietra, Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, Studio Alchimia, Studio 65 and Superstudio that make the Dennis Freedman collection the largest in North America for this kind of works.

The Italian Ambassador in Washington Armando Varricchio stressed that the exhibition at the MFAH "is a clear demonstration of the great passion for Italian culture and art in the USA and of the great appreciation enjoyed by the creativity and design of our country, which has always combined avant-garde trends and vision of the future with a strong anchorage to traditions". Federico Ciattaglia, Consul General of Italy in Houston, who took the opportunity to recall "the continuous influence of Italian design at an international level and the strong collaboration between Texas and Italy in the artistic field", was the guest of honour at the presentation evening and the opening press conference.