Greta Scarpa is glad to introduce Giorgio Griffa (Turin, 1936) and Ettore Sottsass (Innsbruck 1917- Milano 2007).
Both the artists have recently received solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (Giorgio Griffa “La Recherche” in 2020; Ettore Sottsass “The Magical Objects” in 2021) and are part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Few of Sottsass’ ceramics were exhibited during the mentioned show at the Centre Pompidou in 2020, accompanied by others that were presented back in 1969 during “Miljo for en ny planet” at the National Museum in Stockholm. For what concerns Giorgio Griffa, the artworks range from 1978 to 1983 and are beautiful examples of a five decade-long production.
A few observations: even if auction houses have become more and more powerful players in defining artists’ careers, museums and institutions remain crucial actors in the art system. They are synonymous with quality – that is a trait we should always look after in art. Receiving an exhibition at a prestigious venue as the Centre Pompidou is a milestone step for artists. In terms of art history’s perspective, it means that they deserve to be conserved and/or to be of public service as elements of contemporary culture. These kinds of artists are universally considered “solid artists” and if it is true that any artwork is able to enrich our life as long as we are happy with that, these kinds of artists can always add angles on present collection or be an appealing starting point to build a future one. After all, we all need to know where we come from.
It is interesting to notice how Griffa and Sottsass were both radical in their practices, but starting from opposite conditions. Giorgio Griffa’s pictorial language is reduced to the essential components of canvas, sign, and color; while Ettore Sottsass approach is bold, ironical and out of the box. For Griffa, his art was not representative; for Sottsass his design was a way to discuss life.