Fornasetti: Designer of Dreams

Overview

“Glorious . . . almost as good as owning one of the things themselves.”—The World of Interiors
Piero Fornasetti lived and worked in Milan from 1935 until his death in 1988. During this long career he established an enduring reputation as a designer with a style that was distinctly his own—a style based on illusion, architectural perspectives, and a host of personal leitmotifs, such as the sun, playing cards, fish, and flowers, from which he spun seemingly endless variations.
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Overview

“Glorious . . . almost as good as owning one of the things themselves.”—The World of Interiors
Piero Fornasetti lived and worked in Milan from 1935 until his death in 1988. During this long career he established an enduring reputation as a designer with a style that was distinctly his own—a style based on illusion, architectural perspectives, and a host of personal leitmotifs, such as the sun, playing cards, fish, and flowers, from which he spun seemingly endless variations.
Fornasetti applied his decorative vocabulary to an astonishing array of objects—hats, vests, pipes, ashtrays, chairs, plates, cabinets, pianos, ocean liners—and transformed them by the application of unexpected images.
Today his work seems more contemporary and is more popular than ever. Designers and collectors celebrate his use of allusion, unsettling images, and striking juxtaposition to create unique, whimsical objects. Fornasetti’s masterpieces continue to shock, delight, and inspire.

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Editorial Reviews

Art & Antiques
“By ignoring the winds of fashion, Fornasetti often presaged it and eventually outlasted it. . . . He invented a world that was simply too enchanting to be real.”
Maine Antique Digest
“In an age of sleek, unadorned Modernism, Fornasetti ran counter to and took joyous delight in decorating anything and everything.”
Interior Design
“[A book] we are fortunate to have back in print.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Combining whimsy and rigorous elegance, Milanese designer Piero Fornasetti (1913-1980) borrowed freely from surrealist and metaphysical artists. His is an art of gestures: a lone parrot on a balustrade evokes the Venetian Renaissance, helium balloons and propellor-driven airplanes conjure up a world of humanized technology. With subversive wit, Fornasetti imaginatively transformed lamps, coffeepots, chairs and plates into agents of humor, provocation and meaning. He produced an endless stream of variations on his personal leitmotifs, including the human hand, the female face, luminescent fish, bizarre creatures of the deep and playing cards. Mauries, contributing editor to Italian art and design magazine FMR , takes the full measure of a metaphysician who went from idealized architectural fantasies to bawdy erotic drawings to obsessive solar symbolism. Publication coincides with an exhibit at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. (Nov.)
Library Journal
This hefty volume is essentially a pricey catalog published to coincide with an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Combining Surrealist influences with a love for old engravings, prolific designer Piero Fornasetti (1913-88) created an array of whimsical creations and visions. Applying these to items of daily use, his workshops issued decorated cups, ties, scarves, fans, and screens along with dazzling pieces of trompe l'oeil furniture, all now sought by collectors. In addition, Fornasetti created countless drawings, book designs, and portraits and designed the decor for the luxury liner Andrea Doria . After peaking in the Fifties and Sixties, Fornasetti's reputation experienced a decline, until he was ``rediscovered'' in 1980 during the first revival of ``Fifties Style.'' This lush homage to a fascinating artist includes over 600 illustrations, 116 in color. Most appropriate for strong art and design collections.--Joseph Hewgley, Nashville P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500280515
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 664,164
  • Product dimensions: 8.63 (w) x 11.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Mauriès is a writer, publisher, and collector. His previous books include Jewelry by Chanel and Cabinets of Curiosities.

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