Alessandro Mendini - Alchimia, Studio Alchimia - Figure, Sculpture - OLLO - Alchimia Souvenir

Alessandro Mendini - Alchimia, Studio Alchimia - Figure, Sculpture - OLLO - Alchimia Souvenir
Italy - 1980-1989 - Brass, Copper, Wood, Metal

In good condition, a very rare item made of blue painted wood with a brass crescent moon, a yellow flag, and two smiling pink faces in the middle. A design by the Italian Alessandro Mendini (1931-2019).

The item is part of the OLLO series and was named 'Alchimia Souvenir', made by Studio Alchimia in the late 1980s. This item was acquired through Christie's Auction House Amsterdam in 2006. Please see the auction house stickers at the bottom.

At the end of the series of photos, the item is shown in a large size in an 'OLLO Design Museo Alchimia' catalogue, 1988. The last photo shows the Groninger Museum in Groningen where Alessandro Mendini has a similar blue gate on display.

Please note: The blue paint has several scratches and stains, please see the photos. A tiny spot of paint damage at the bottom on a corner and also on the yellow flag. The pink faces have crackle in the paint layer near the white parts. Please contact the Expert of this auction for the provenance of this item.

Dimensions: Height: 31.5 cm x Width: 30 cm x Depth: 5 cm.

Material: Wood, Brass, Metal.

Background information:
Alessandro Mendini (1931-2019) is an Italian designer, author and architect. He played an important part in the development of Italian design. He also worked for the magazines Casabella, Modo and Domus.

After studying architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Mendini was editor-in-chief at several professional magazines, in which he reflected on his ideas on architecture and art. In the 70s, he was one of the most important personalities in the 'Radical Design' protest movement. He was co-founder of the Global Tools group in 1973.

In 1976, he became a member of Alchimia, an avant-garde group of designers. In 1989, he founded the design studio Atelier Mendini together with his brother Francesco. He was also part of the Memphis Group led by Ettore Sottsass in the early 80s.

In the Netherlands, Mendini designed the Groninger Museum and the interior of the NS Intercity Material train. He designed utensils for Alessi and Venini. As an architect, he also drew the plans for the Paradise Tower in Hiroshima (Japan), the Ceramics Museum in Incheon (South Korea) and the new Olympic Swimming Pool in Trieste.

Studio Alchimia was a studio in Milan run by radical, left wing designers of utensils, established in 1976 by architect Alessandro Guerriero.

From 1981 onwards, under the influence of Mendini, Alchimia gradually shifted its focus from utensils toward objects of architecture, decorative objects for experimental theatre, video arts, clothing etc. Alchimia seeks to counter architectural modernism. As such, their designs are lavishly decorated, with the essential architectural structures remaining hidden from sight; for example, supporting parts appear as non-supporting, while non-supporting parts look as if they are in fact supporting. Source: Wikipedia.

- Condition in accordance with its age and use, such as the usual signs of wear.
- Please have a good look at the photos for a correct impression of the lot on offer and of the exact condition of the object.
- You are buying the item in the condition as shown in the photos and with the dimensions indicated in the description.
- Subject to typing errors
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Well-packaged and registered shipping by PostNL Parcel service, both within the Netherlands and abroad. Please also visit our Catawiki page,, for other vintage design lots.

Lot details
Figure, Sculpture
Brass, Copper, Metal, Wood
Designer/ Artist
Alessandro Mendini
Manufacturer/ Brand
Alchimia, Studio Alchimia
Model/ Name
OLLO - Alchimia Souvenir
Estimated Period
Country of Origin
Good condition - used with small signs of ageing
31.5×30×0 cm
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