Osvaldo Borsani Table with Black Leather Inlay
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Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno, desk/writing table, aluminum, lacquered wood and leather, Italy, 1970s.
Desk table with a black top. The base consists of a two metal frames. The base creates an open character with the dark top. It was at the time that founder and key designer Osvaldo Borsani was put in charge of the company and the day to day running was left in the hands of the architect Marco Fantoni and other designers. This creation of the 'Centro Progetti Tecno' was a decision made to present future designs of the company as a group creation, not as the result of the creative mind of one single designer.
Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985) was an Italian designer and architect, raised by a family of fine furniture makers in Varedo. At the age of 16, he joined his father’s furniture shop, the Atelier di Varedo, which was fully engaged in designing and furnishing homes inspired by the Italian Art Deco movement. The designer of the atelier was the Italian architect Gino Maggioni (1898-1955) who was known for his Viennese Jugendstil orientation of the early 20th century. In the 1930s, he graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera and Politecnico di Milano, where he studied Fine Arts and Architecture respectively. In 1932, the family company was renamed ‘Arredamenti Borsani’ and opened its first studio in Milan. During this period, he encountered Avant-Garde artists of various artistic disciplines like Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Agenore Fabbri (1911-1998), Aligi Sassu (1912-2000), Roberto Crippa (1921-1972), Fausto Melotti (1901-1986), Arnaldo Pomodoro (1926-) and Giò Pomodoro (1930-2002). These collaborations resulted in the creation of furniture and interior design projects with a high-level of craftsmanship and artistry. In 1953, Borsani founded together with his twin brother Fulgenzio Borsani ‘Tecno’, a design and manufacturing company that produced items based on mechanical innovations and refined technicality. The ‘P40’ adjustable lounge chair (1953) has become the ideological manifesto of Borsani's Tecno program, and still remains the best known, exemplary piece in the Tecno catalogue. Other iconic works that were produced by Tecno were created by Gio Ponti (1891-1979), Vico Magistretti (1920-2006), Carlo de Carli (1910-1999), Gae Aulenti (1927-2012), and many other influential Italian designers. Osvaldo Borsani died in 1985 in Milan. His diverse and sophisticated oeuvre is to be found in permanent collections, such as of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Neue Sammlung in Munich, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Trienalle di Milano Museum.
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