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Rome | “Looking Forward. Olivetti. 110 years of imagination” exhibition at La Galleria Nazionale

By FEDERICA LUSIARDI - February 22, 2018

olivetti-summa-19-orizzontale-mostra-roma-galleria-nazionale-2018

Until 1 May 2018, La Galleria Nazionale (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art) in Rome features the exhibition “Looking Forward. Olivetti. 110 years of imagination”.

cover image: Olivetti Summa 19, electric calculator, 1970, designed by Ettore Sottsass jr and Hans Von Klier. Courtesy of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

Curated by Ilaria Bussoni, Manolo De Giorgi, and Nicolas Martino in collaboration with the Olivetti Historical Archive, the exhibition depicts an history started 110 years ago by one of the most famous Italian business dynasties.
The exhibition presents the design vision of Olivetti by the means of some of its most iconic products, many of which have been conceived by world-famous designers.
Pieces on view include the M1, the first typewriter ever made in Italy, the Lettera 22 designed by Marcello Nizzoli in 1950, the famous Valentine designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1968, and the new Form 200, a web-connected digital cash register based on a proposal awarded at the 2016 edition of the Olivetti Design Contest, a competition organized by the company in collaboration with leading European schools of design.

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Olivetti Valentine with carrying case, portable typewriter, designed by Ettore Sottsass jr and Perry A. King. Courtesy of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

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Aerial view of the Olivetti factory in Ivrea in the 1960s.
Courtesy of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

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The Olivetti advanced technologies R&D center in Cupertino, California, ca. 1982.
Courtesy of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

The exhibition is divided into two sections. The fist, entitled “Visual Collection” is a quick tour into the history of Olivetti articulated into about thirty sub-themes focused on modernity.
The second part, “Drawing life”, features photographs, advertising posters, and texts from the Olivetti Historical Archive with the aim to investigates both the recent past and possible future scenarios. Pieces on view include over 150 pictures by some of the most recognized photographers of the 20th century – such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Ugo Mulas, Francisc Català Roca, and Fulvio Roiter – as well as a dozen of historical advertising posters and window cards.

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Olivetti factories, advertising poster by Giovanni Pintori, 1956.
Courtesy of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

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Olivetti Lettera 32, typewriter, advertising poster by Walter Ballmer, 1968.
Courtesy of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

 

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Olivetti Valentine, advertising poster by Milton Glaser, 1970.
Courtesy of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

 

Looking forward. Olivetti: 110 years of imagination
20 February / 1 May, 2018

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
viale delle Belle Arti, 131 – 00197 Rome

Images courtesy of ‘La Galleria Nazionale’, Rome
http://lagallerianazionale.com/

 



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