Ettore Sottsass


One of the most important Italian designers of the 20th century, Ettore Sottsass is a true icon of post modern design. The son of an architect, Sottsass was immersed in the world of design from a young age attending the prestigious Politecnico di Torino school in Turin. After the war, Sottsass moved to Milan and, following a brief period with the bauhaus imaginista project, went to New York City to work with prominent American designer George Nelson.


Upon his return to Italy, Sottsass worked with Italian design projects like Poltronova where he created the iconic Superbox series, and Alchimia working with designers such as Alessandro Mendini.

In 1980, Sottsass leaves Alchimia to found what will become one of his most prestigious projects and enduring projects, the Memphis group.


Sottsass' deep and historic relationship with the Galerie Yves Gastou was notably marked by the 1985 retrospective show of Sottsass' work, "Mobili dal 1947 al 1985". This show was quickly followed by the 1986 unveiling of the gallery's façade: the first and only architectural project ever realized by Sottsass in France. 


"Seeing the Italian design of the 1950s and 1970s, I went crazy. The most brilliant revolutionary of those, where everything else was black and sad, was Ettore Sottsass. It was an explosion of colors and "poor" materials like Formica but with humour, a great culture and reinterpretation of the history of European design. For me, Sottsass and the Italian movements are the origin of the contemporary enthusiasm for design."

- Yves Gastou