New York

Ettore Sottsass

Blum Helman Gallery

Ettore Sottsass is 70 years old this year. Normally, this kind of biographical data is of only secondary importance. But there is prejudice against age in our culture, along with a widespread misapprehension that creative force is compressed into a brief, early period in what is often a very long life. When a remarkable individual such as Sottsass comes along, he stimulates in us a sense of guilt for our biases as well as a genuine desire to reform. As demonstrated by this exhibition, Sottsass is still filled with vigor and vitality. Unfortunately, he is also susceptible to the same seductive impulses as younger artists and designers. The wonderfully inventive and rebellious work that Sottsass did for Memphis and Studio Alchymia in the late ’70s and early ’80s has become formulaic. This process of devolution happens all the time but is particularly noticeable when an innovator temporarily

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