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Galerie Philia to showcase Studiopepe’s anthropologic research at Milan Design Week
Temenos Collection by Studiopepe Exclusively produced for Galerie Philia
Image: Flavio Pescatori Courtesy of Studiopepe 2022

Galerie Philia to showcase Studiopepe’s anthropologic research at Milan Design Week

Galerie Philia is delighted to present the first collectible design creations by Italian duo Studiopepe during Milan Design Week, from 6 to 12 June 2022.

by Galerie Philia
Published on : May 21, 2022

Galerie Philia is delighted to present the first collectible design creations by Italian duo Studiopepe during Milan Design Week, from 6 to 12 June 2022. Regarded as mavericks of design, Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto are known for their eclectic signature style, exploring formal archetypes, juxtaposing materials, and blending assertive forms. For Galerie Philia, Studiopepe will produce beautifully crafted sculptural design pieces in limited editions, including a set of monolithic chairs, a console, a mirror and a lamp. This new ensemble epitomizes Studiopepe’s ongoing anthropologic research that investigates the semiotic characteristics of ‘the object’ and how primary function and purpose are eliminated or transformed by the symbolism man attaches to it; the metamorphosis of a chair into a throne for example, or a table into an altar. With these new pieces, Studiopepe also draws upon their admiration for the great designers, architects, and artists of the 20th century: the simplified figurative forms of Constantin Brancusi’s sculptures, the interlocking slab creations of Isamu Noguchi and the pure yet functional volumes of Le Corbusier’s architecture and designs.

United by their common interest in anthropology and the study of artifacts from ancient cultures, Studiopepe and Galerie Philia conceptualized an immersive experience for the Temenos project. Inspired by the circular dimensions of ancient sacral monuments, such as Stonehenge and the dome of the Pantheon, a stately temple-like cylindrical structure symbolizing life, nature and cosmic renewal will be installed in the center of the exhibition space, creating a radical contrast as well as a dialogue with the surrounding industrial architecture. A synaesthetic video by Studiopepe, mixing different languages and contents, will be projected on the floor of a round white surface, emulating a water pond, historically used for divination.

Each piece in the collection is named after the nine archetypal entities of Egyptian cosmogony, which are the principles essential to the creation of the universe, including the four elements and the archetypes. Notable works on display include the Tefnut low table, characterized by a slightly hollowed top, assembled with brown onyx slabs on several levels and resting on two triangular prisms of burnt wood and the Temu concrete lamp with organic shapes. A series of carved thrones, titled Geb and Nut, with bold, geometric backrests made from dark charcoal burnt wood, epitomize the studio’s quirky style. Each pair of thrones reinterprets the duality of masculinity and femininity that can be read in the design of the backrest. Other stand-out seats include Isi, a pair of concrete monolithic chairs, featuring a modernist asymmetrical curved seat, inspired by the architecture of Le Corbusier's Palace of Assembly in Chandigarh.

Reflecting Studiopepe’s ongoing research on the matter, a series of collectible objects further exemplifies the agency’s ability to marry contrasting materials, rough and finished surfaces, creating striking assonances and dissonances. The Nefti candleholder and the Seth & Sekhmet vases, for example, are made of natural materials chosen for their sustainable properties and contrasting textures, such as mixtures of stones with cast glass and raffia, amongst others.

"The Temenos exhibition project marks the beginning of Galerie Philia’s collaboration with Studiopepe. We are honoured to present their first series of collectible design pieces made in their native Milan for the design week. Their organic sculptural designs, entirely made by hand, highlight the beauty of imperfection in a finished work. They have produced a powerful ensemble of pieces that stand out through thematic and aesthetic coherence," shares Ygaël Attali, co-founder of Galerie Philia.

Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto say ‘We are thrilled to present our first series of sculptural designs with Galerie Philia. This installation, co-curated with the gallery and titled Temenos, explores the notion of sacredness in its anthropological and historical complexity and our works, the symbols given to objects and furniture pieces throughout history. We have always enjoyed visiting ethnographic and anthropological museums during our travels. One we love returning to is the Luigi Pigorini National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Rome which presents a collection of traditional art and materials documenting the cultures of all continents, including non-European populations. Our collection draws inspiration from these materials’.

The audience will be accompanied into the sacred place created by Studiopepe through a sculptural surrounding focused on the notion of secular items. The outer circle of the exhibition space will bring together works from Andrés Monnier (Mexico), Cristian Mohaded (Argentina), Morghen Studio (Milan), Pierre de Valck (Belgium), Jérôme Pereira (France), and Samuel Constantini (Milan) that have been commissioned exclusively for this exhibition.

The incandescent light from Monnier’s hand-sculpted firepit, accompanied by the candles in Constantini’s oil lamps and Morghen Studio’s original chandelier will be complemented by natural elements used in the other works. Pereira's organic pendant lamp, the textured stone of Mohaded’s vases and lamps, and finally the harmony of found stone and bronze in de Valck’s center table will accentuate the immersive experience of Temenos and point out the contrast between secular and sacred design artworks.

STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.

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