Andrea Branzi. All eras come to a head
curated by Cecilia Cecchini
The exhibition Andrea Branzi. All eras come to a head curated by Cecilia Cecchini represents an unusual foray by the well-known architect into a universe little investigated by design.
Mass production and low cost are linked to the use of cheaper plastic, which almost completely replaced natural materials – horn, ivory, tortoiseshell, wood – and the first semisynthetic polymers that used to make the objects unique in the, albeit slight, differences in colours and craftsmanship.
A testament to these peculiarities is the extraordinary variety of combs in the historical section of the exhibition, with pieces from the Gabriella Antonini collection, true works of art made, for the most part, at the beginning of the twentieth century. Decorated, historiated combs, modelled in the most unusual forms, real jewels to be shown on occasion, to be placed on the “dressing table”, or to be pinned in the hair.
Andrea Branzi experimented with this unusual and apparently frivolous theme by designing the twelve combs of the Attinie Collection, made of plastic material. His rigorous design, imagination and the use of advanced production technologies gave birth to twelve prototypes that are difficult to define: a cross between portable sculptures and miniature pieces of furniture. It is difficult to grasp their size, they could be the scale models of much larger items. They are decorative combs, contemporary talismans full of meanings, but at the same time light and rarefied in shapes and colours.
Secret symbols of a person, of their private rituals, of more symbolic than functional gestures. Tribute to the spontaneous beauty of a woman who wavers between combing and messing up her hair. (Andrea Branzi)