Enzo Mari

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Enzo Mari
Enzo Mari 1974.jpg
Enzo Mari in his studio in Milan, 1974
Enzo Mari


Enzo Mari (born 1932) is a noted Italian modernist artist and furniture designer.

He draws inspiration from the idealism of the arts and crafts movement, and his political views as a communist.[1]

Mari was born in Novara, Italy and he studied at the Brera Academy in Milan, Italy from 1952-1956

In the 1960s, published a series of books, including "The Apple and the Butterfly," a wordless book of paintings depicting the story of a caterpillar and an apple.[2]

In the 1970s, he founded the Nuova Tendenza art movement as a professor at Società Umanitaria, also in Milan. Also in that decade, he designed the Sof Sof chair[3] and the "Box" chair.[4]

In 1974, Enzo Mari made the book Autoprogettazione, which deals around the DIY construction of furniture.[5]

In the 1980s, he designed the modernist Tonietta chair.[6]

Mari has taught at University of Parma (Parma), the Accademia Carrara (Carrara), Milan Polytechnic and ISIA (Florence), the Hochschule der Künste (Berlin), and the "Hochschule für angewandte Kunst" in Vienna.

He has multiple works on display at the Museum of Modern Art (New York).[7] He has had recent retrospective shows in Turin, Italy,[8] and an important presentation of his work in "Adhocracy" show, during the first Istanbul Design Biennial.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Compasso d'Oro award: 1967 "for individual research in design".
  • Compasso d'Oro award: 1979 for the "Delfina" chair.
  • Compasso d'Oro award: 1987 for the "Tonietta" chair.
  • Compasso d'Oro award: 2001 for the "Legato" table.
  • "Barcelona" prize in 1997.
  • The RSA of London presented him with the award of "HonRDI" (Honorary Royal Designer for Industry) in 2000. Only 200 people may hold this title at any time.
  • The Faculty of Architecture at Milan Polytechnic presented Mari with an honorary degree in Industrial Design in 2002.


-"Form is everything."[1]

-"Design is dead."[1]

-"I want to create models for a different society."[9]


  1. ^ a b c Rawsthorn, Alice (2 October 2008). "Enzo Mari: A rebel with an obsession for form". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  2. ^ "The Apple and the Butterfly". Present & Correct. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Sof Sof Chair". MoMA Catalog. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  4. ^ ""Che fare" by Enzo Mari and Gabriele Pezzini". Design Addcit. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Enzo Mari's Autoprogettazione". Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  6. ^ "MoMA: Tonietta Chair". MoMA Catalog. MoMA. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Works on Display: Enzo Mari". NYMOMA Catalog. NYMOMA. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Enzo Mari: A view on the immensity". Ego Design. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  9. ^ https://www.cucula.org/en/enzomari/