He was born in 1932 in Cerano, a town close to Novara, and studied in Milan at the Brera Academy, graduating in literature and art. In 1957 he began to collaborate with Danese starting his industrial design career. His theories, his idea of teaching largely contributed to the "Made in Italy" as globally synonymous with skillful quality and craftsmanship.
Enzo Mari he left us at the age of 88 on 19 October in Milan. Just a few days earlier the exhibition at the Triennale, dedicated to him "Enzo Mari'' curated by Hans Hobrist with Francesca Giacomelli" inaugurated.
The void has also extended to his lifelong partner, Lea Vergine, a famous art critic and curator, who passed away the day after.
Enzo Mari was an inventor of archetypes and pure forms in his very essence, giving a refined production, conceived between aesthetic balances between line, material, volume, and color. His objects are significant symbols, functions made into a form: they are project-objects that know how to talk about poetry, social values, contestation, ethics, which reveal a brilliant professional but, above all, reveal that Enzo Mari is not just this. In addition to being a talented and internationally renowned designer, Mari was a multifaceted artist, he was a great child, a thinker, a philosopher, a teacher, a talker, but above all was a man of deep conscience and knowledge.
“I enjoy doing this job, I fight for my happiness. I have a lot of fun even though this fun is based on a constant quarrel with the world. I'm one of those crazy people who likes to have fun facing difficult feats” he used to say.
Enzo Mari was and will remain a symbol of Italian Design, its originality was simple and always faithful to the historical basis of Design, where an object is conceived and produced serially so that it is functional and lasts as long as possible. This is a vision that contemporaneity tends to forget, in the frenetic and ephemeral race towards objects of easy market and aesthetics. Mari taught us the art and the patience of observing, looking through the meaning, repeating, putting creativity into mandy different ways, but above all, he taught us that everything can communicate when its form is pure and free from market dictates or temporary trends. The essence of things, as well as the essence of design, will remain firm, archetypal, and concrete, under his lesson, to which we are largely grateful.
Milan homages him with two exhibitions conceived while he was still with us:
- Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, at the Milan Triennale
- “Falce e Martello. Three ways in which an artist can contribute to the class struggle" a faithful reproduction of Enzo Mari exhibition created in 1973 and reconstructed thanks to the Enzo Mari archive, at the Galleria Milano, via Turati.