An exhibition about Enzo Mari at the Milan Triennial, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Francesca Giacomelli, is taking place until 18 April 2021 to showcase the oeuvre of the legendary designer and design theorist who passed away at the age of 88 on 19 October 2020. In addition to a historical aspect, international artists and designers such as Tacita Dean, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Rirkrit Tiravanija were invited to pay tribute to Mari with site-specific installations and specially commissioned works.
There are video interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist that add an illustration of Mari’s understanding of theory and his extraordinary design capabilities to the exhibition. Complementing them, design critic Alice Rawsthorn has produced a series of podcasts together with Obrist entitled Enzo Mari Costellazione, in which friends and employees shine a light on their memories of the person and observations of the designer in conversation with Rawsthorn. Paola Antonelli, design curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, sees “the conscience of Italian design” in Enzo Mari; Stefano Boeri describes him as “a constellation” and designer Martino Gamper remembers that Mari “offended [him] in a way that [he] had never been offended by another designer before.” Marva Griffin Wilshire, founder of SaloneSatellite, characterises Mari as an “outsider” while design duo Formafantasma emphasise Mari’s influence on their own work and highlight his political awareness. Rawsthorn and Obrist make it clear in the end that the exhibition is “an exhibition about the many Maris”.