Gabriella Crespi, 1970’s
Gabriella Crespi is turning 90 this year but her creations are still very young.
From Vogue Italia in the occasion of last September great retrospective exhibition in Milan:
“ Gabriella Crespi, a unique figure in the world of decor as were her furniture and objects. Curated by "our" Cesare Cunaccia together with Elisabetta Crespi, the designer's daughter and her assistant for years, the exhibition tells the story of this luxury craftsman through her creative process, who was born in 1922, and was particularly successful in the 60s and 70s. Her multifunctional furniture, often inspired by nature, and by precious materials have won, through decades, the hearts of people as the Shah of Persia, Gunter Sachs and Grace Kelly (…)”
Gabriella Crespi and one of her lavish metal sculptures.
Cesare Cunaccia says: "Gabriella Crespi's creative path is nothing but an urgency of the soul, an even cathartic and necessary motion, until, at the peak of her career as an artist and designer, she decided to abandon everything to settle the inner conflict had torn her existence forever. These extraordinary furniture, objects and sculptures, cannot be understood, as its double meaning of pure abstraction and emotional mirrors without first understanding Gabriella's personal story."
Brass and leather stools, one of her many innovative design.
She was the wife of Giuseppe Maria Crespi, part of one of the richest family in Italy, with a huge textile empire and owners of the Italian major newspaper but she did not have a factory or even a studio. She made detailed drawings of her ideas and brought them to skilled Milanese artisans, woodworkers and metal smiths.
But in 1987 she suddenly stopped. ''I rid myself of everything,'' she said. ''The showrooms, the warehouse, the Rome apartment, the house in Sardinia. Everything.'' Then she began searching for “the Truth” in India, following the ascetic Hindu holy men. She still lives in her Milan apartment part of the year, but her life there is more spartan, her diet is vegetarian, and she has become more frugal. ''But rich inside,'' she adds.
Read more on Gabriella Crespi in this 2005 article on The New York Times.
2011 exhibition of Gabriella Crespi design at Palazzo Reale in Milan.
There is now a renewed interest in her designs, she used a vast range of materials: metal, especially brass, bamboo, ivory, wood and marble to shells and gemstones. She produced mainly in the 1960's through the 80's, with forward and innovative pieces, furniture, accessories, jewelry, all signed and numbered, highly collectible.
You may remember this beautiful desk in Erin Lauder’s house, published in Elle Decor last year.
Timeless Gabriella Crespi!
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©2012 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".
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