Ico Parisi for Brugnoli Mobili Freestanding Desk in Walnut and Brass
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Ico Parisi for Brugnoli Mobili, desk, walnut, teak veneer, brass, vinyl, Italy, 1959
Acknowledged master of Italian mid-century design Ico Parisi has created an impressive number of designs throughout his career. His design language is characterized by expressive, lines and grained wood, reflecting his excellent taste for form and harmonic compositions. This sturdily desk is a wonderful example of the versatility of Parisi's work, showing a clear transformation in comparison to previous delicate designs of the early 1950s. A rectangular tabletop with vinyl surface rests on a base with two compartments of drawers. Very striking to the eye are the 45-degree beveled corners executed in teak veneer. The symmetric composition is resting in an honest frame which is visible throughout the desk. Clear lines with self-locking wood joints show an honest construction, having a strong visual impact on the design itself. Unique to this well-documented desk, of which few versions are known such as the single drawer desk, are the two drawers with an open shelf on top provide storage space. Long, horizontal handles in patinated brass strengthen the design and provide a bold accent. The warm colored walnut wood with its natural grain combines wonderfully with the brass handles and the dark vinyl tabletop.
Ico Parisi (1916-1996) is one of the pioneers who helped shape postwar Italian design. Parisi is now known for fluent, curved, and delicate simplified modern design. In Italy, reform took place not in a new institute such as the Bauhaus, but in the sophisticated upper-class private spaces. Here paths crossed of Ponti, Campigli, Melotti and Ico and his wife Luisa. At the age of twenty Parisi graduates from the Istituto Tecnico G. Castellini as an Industrial Head Technician. According to Parisi himself, his first design dates from this time. He also starts to work as a painter and photographer before he had to work as a soldier in the war. His life really starts after the war when he meets his wife, Luisa Aiani. From here onwards, his designs are recognized and exhibited, and he starts to collaborate with MIM Roma in 1958 and Stildomus in 1959.
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