Ugo La Pietra

“Art furniture” – pieces that are not quite art and not really furniture—either art is slumming or furniture is longing. Art and design are not dualistic.

La Pietra came of creative age during the ambitious days of radical 1960s culture, he developed his own critical method of making. In his own words, he pushed for the “decoding and rereading of what has been forgotten, or ill used, or is somehow, for more or less legitimate historical reasons, petrified”.

1) Research and design of the object in rapport with the environment, the territory, and history (I mean all of history: not only what relates to the history of the mass-produced object!);

2) Definition of useful objects which can be put into production and which nevertheless at the same time posses the virtual qualities proper to the art object;

3) Exploration of the points of conflict between and overlapping of the two disciplines, art and design, in order to determine whether the historico-cultural reasons which lead to their separation in the past rare still valid;

4) Greater attention to the diffusion of the so-called culture of living, with particular attention to local territorial resources;

5) References to tradition (techniques, materials) together with approaches charged with unforeseen, chance elements.

(Ugo La Pietra, “1960-1990: Thirty Years of Experimental Research”)


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