Joe Colombo retrospective, Leipzig

Italian design has long been synonymous with elegance, innovation and downright gorgeousness. With some of the most prolific names in fashion, interiors and architecture having been shaped by the boot of Europe - Italy is, and always has been, a veritable breeding ground for creative talent.

One of the most successful interiors innovators of his time, Ceasare ‘Joe’ Colombo was - in his 1960s heyday - the living embodiment of this Italian stereotype.

Combining modernist elegance, industrial know-how and pioneering use of materials, Colombo’s mark on the face of contemporary design has been rendered truly indelible.

The latest portion of a touring Colombo retrospective will this month open at the Grassi Museum of applied art in Leipzig. Split into four parts, the show is a comprehensive deconstruction of this enigmatic designer’s tragically short career.

Spanning his beginnings in the early 1950s through to his all-encompassing interiors visions of the late 1960s – Colombo’s ample legacy could not have hoped for a more suitable salutation.

Sky-searching futurist that he was, Colombo was the first designer to mould a chair in one entire piece. Renowned for his multicoloured, super-curved and ultramodern vision - Colombo was a producer of, in his own words, ‘machines for living’.

With televisions in ceilings, pivoting walls and pop-up mini-bars abound, Colombo’s James Bond inspired interiors (whilst certainly hovering on the kitsch side) are enjoying a deserved renaissance – the quality and clarity of Colombo’s creative vision precedes any of our more modish prejudices – and rightly so.


Event dates
3 April 2009 to 28 June 2009


49.34 1222 9104

Grassi Museum of applied art
Johannisplatz 5-11
D – 04103 Leipzig

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