The Natuzzi Open Art project officially launched last April 2009 during the Salone del Mobile in Milan and was born with the aim of bringing art into Natuzzi stores and to make art “open” to everyone. The project looks to collaborate with artists from different disciplines (painters, sculptors, photographers, etc), in line with the style of the company, to create objects d’art to sell in series as pieces belonging to the Natuzzi collection.
The Natuzzi Open Art project was launched in 2009 with the engagement of sculptor Giacomo Benevelli, who created for Natuzzi, a collection of accessories. The collection was born from a desire to increase the potential of the accessories, beyond just simple functionality and the manufacturing of a good design, bestowing them with an artistic value.
The artist, created the pieces, “Kyklos” and “Philos” during the Mater Natura exhibition, which ran from April to July 2009 in the Natuzzi flagship store in Via Durini, Milan. Both pieces are copies of existing sculptures, re-worked for the accessories collection. Visitors of the store can buy the limited edition pieces as collectible and precious objects designed to give the home a unique artistic value. Beyond Kyklos and Philos, Benevelli’s collection has been increased to include “Philira” tray and the vase “Vasum” that Natuzzi has created to make part of its collection. Fashioned from plastic and other refined materials, the collection makes use of the most current and sophisticated technological processes.
Together with these pieces, created in a limited edition series and signed by the artist, Benevelli showcases an exclusive series of eight new sculptures. Born from his creative talent, each piece demonstrates different manufacturing techniques and materials, from terracotta to ceramics and bronze castings. The sculptures will be on view at the Natuzzi, Via Durini store in Milan throughout the Salone del Mobile.
This vase takes inspiration from the “vasum”, a shell living in tropical waters. Created with a rotational moulding technique, it is available in polyethylene, in white and brown polish finishes and in turtledove, white and anthracite matt finishes (Fig. 1).
From the Greek “circle”, it gives the name to the cyclamen. Plinio il Vecchio tells that, according to an ancient belief, the places where the cyclamen is planted were exempt from witchcrafts. The form of the cyclamen is also reminiscent of the female reproductive organ and for the Greek philosopher Teofrasto represents conception. Kyklos is available in bronze, red and mountain-green colours (Fig. 2).
The genesis of the word philo (from the Greek philos) means “sympathy for”. Metaphorically it means the beginning of a trend. Perceptually the aspect of this sculpture is linear, thin and looks like a yarn. In Greek mythology, the yarn, as an element of spinning, represents a link. Philos is available only in bronze and in three different colours: chromium plated, golden and polish black (Fig. 3).
From the Greek goddess Tessalia, daughter of Ocean and Teti and mother of the centaur Chirone. The legend tells that when Chirone was born, Philyra felt such a great shame that she asked her father to be converted into a tree giving her name: the linden. Greeks created the myth of Philyra for the femininity she always evokes and her features. Created with a rotational moulding technique, the Philyra tray is available in polyethylene, in white and brown polish finishes. It is also available in dark linden tree wood (Fig. 4).
Giacomo Benevelli was born in 1925 in Reggio Emilia and was brought up in France. Since 1957 Benevelli has exhibited in Italy and worldwide. Many of his works are shown in primary museums, private and public collections. Among his public works are, in 1963 ‘The Bronze Sculpture Edificante’ for the new offices for Genio Civile in Milano; in 1993 ‘Teleios’, a bronze set in Piazzale Loreto in Milano; in 2000, the ‘Bronze Doors for the Santa Maria ‘Aragon Sanctuary’, near Bergamo. He realised a number of sacred art works for contemporary and ancient churches, and his works are preserved in numerous public and private collections in Italy and worldwide, including at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp and at The British Museum in London.