Furnishings Designed by Poets & Artists

“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

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