Lapo Binazzi

27 September - 31 October 2016



R & Company is pleased to announce designer Lapo Binazzi’s first major overview opening at the gallery September 27th. This survey draws together a compelling body of work that reveals Binazzi’s career over the last four decades and showcases a range of rare works and archives never exhibited before. Examples of Lapo Binazzi’s designs can found in important museums and in private collections around world. This exhibition has been a decade in the making and is a lead up to SuperDesign, the major Italian Radical Design show that opens at R & Company in 2017 and which features some of the most iconic Italian designs over the last five decades. Lapo Binazzi will also be featured in the accompanying book published with The Monacelli Press and a documentary film.

The exhibition is on view September 27th through October 31st. An opening reception will be held on September 27th from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in which Lapo Binazzi will be present.

Lapo Binazzi is a quintessential figure in the Italian Radical movement and a founding member of the collective UFO, one of the “supergroups” of Italian architects. The Italian Radical movement grew in response to the political state of Italy in the 1960’s, when groups of designers congregated together to create works that challenged the current political and economical system. Binazzi’s designs exemplify this movement through their provocative tones, humorous messages and symbolic imagery. Lingering between conceptual and pop art, Binazzi works in a variety of mediums including interior design, fashion, film and performance. “Lapo Binazzi has remained a true radical throughout his career, having never swayed to the rationalist or classical practices of his contemporaries,” states Evan Snyderman, R & Company co-founder.

The exhibition showcases a range of pieces that outline Binazzi’s career starting in the late 60’s through the early 2000’s. On display are some of his most memorable designs alongside rare and never before seen objects and drawings. Included is a selection of UFO’s most iconic lamps created by Lapo Binazzi such as ParamountMGM, and Dollaro. These designs were made in response to what Binazzi perceived as Hollywood’s false, or impossible to achieve, depiction of the American Dream in the 1960’s and 70’s. Although the designs are playful in their appearance, each lamp contains strong social commentary through their well-known cartoon symbols and provocative narratives. The Paramount lamp plays with the film studio Paramount’s logo by taking the iconic mountain symbol and juxtaposing an umbrella on its peak; similarly, the MGM lamp utilizes the MGM icon yet instead of a roaring lion in the center, there’s an umbrella. The Dollaro lamp references the 20th Century Fox logo by using a similar gold block form but instead of text there’s an American dollar sign and a striking lightning bolt (an alternate version of the lamp incorporates the same design with palm trees and toy cars).

The exhibition also includes a selection of rare works by Lapo Binazzi. On display are drawings and hand- colored prints that have never been exhibited before as well as the playful, large-scale sculptural Doric column seating installation created by Binazzi for UFO’s presentation in Salone del Mobile in Milan in 1971. The boldness and experimental quality of each of Binazzi’s works have resulted in not only beautiful objects but also thought provoking design. The exhibition is an homage to Binazzi’s career and a look into the Italian radical design movement which continues to be a major source of inspiration and important influence for the design world today.