Furnishings Designed by Poets & Artists

General / People / Places / Products / April 18, 2011

“It was a personal – I needed furniture for my house that had color and would give me some excitement.”

Cleto Munari, self-described poet, artist, designer and sculptor, recently outlined the motives for his new furnishings collection . 

“I wanted a collection that was very colorful – that in 100 or 200 years would continue to be very important pieces,” he said. 

He likes to work alongside the creative class.  Since establishing his firm in 1972, he’s collaborated on projects with Carlo Scarpa, Michael Graves and Hans Hollein.  Tomorrow, he’ll launch a collection of works created in collaboration with Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, among others.

The Ferlinghetti-inspired work will be joined by projects created by poet Mark Stand, and architects Alessandro Mendini, Marcello Morandini, Mario Botta, Giorgio Cattano, and Alessandro Munari.  In addition, artists Mimmo Paladino and Sandro Chia have created tables, cabinets, mirrors, and rugs.

“Design, for me, traverses disciplines,” he said.  “Artists, writers, architects, designers – all the people that I hold in high regard – are those to whom I gave input to design things that are ‘right” for my collection.”

Munari himself has been invited to exhibit his own work in the 2011 Venice Biennale.  In tribute to Venice, he created a table is called Palafitte, with Memphis-inspired cylindrical legs that represent the petrified pilings of wood on which Venice is built.

Materials in the new collection  include glass, stainless steel, lacquered wood and carbon fiber.  “It’s a matter of understanding the right material for the right application, he said.  “My collection is unique – I want the pieces to be considered important – limited production runs for a very specific audience that has the means and  needs to expand its cultural horizons.”

It’s all being exhibited through the end of the year at the GD Cucine Showroom at 227 West 17th Street. The collection can be viewed at www.cletomunari.com

View Images:

Tags: ,

Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

Previous Post

Joe Ginsberg and the Art of the Carpet

Next Post

Setting Up the Successful Practice

You might also like


on April 19, 2011

I am very thankful for the wonderful article you wrote on my new collection of furniture.
Thank you very much again

Cleto Munari

on April 20, 2011

I love these design furnishings rich in poetry and personality! Congratulations! Colors should always accompany our life.

on April 22, 2011

Thanks for this,Mike. Just sent the link to my daughter in New Orleans who is studying interior design. She’ll love it.

Leave a Reply

More Story

Joe Ginsberg and the Art of the Carpet

“So what are you going to do?” The client with the well-known American name was asking Joe Ginsberg, who restored...

April 15, 2011