The exhibition "Looking Forward. Olivetti: 110 years of imagination", open to the public from 20 February to 1 May, relates the continuing story of the company from Ivrea
A brand celebrating 110 years of activity and marked the history of design, graphic arts, technological innovation and communications in Italy: Olivetti goes on show at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome with "Looking Forward. Olivetti: 110 years of imagination". Doors open to the public from 20 February to 1 May with a showcase of over 300 unique pieces from first productions and posters to vintage photographs.
Curated by Ilaria Bussoni, Manolo De Giorgi and Nicolas Martino, in collaboration with the Olivetti Historical Archives Association, Looking Forward is a non-nostalgic celebration of the Olivetti culture. The story of an ambitious project given life 110 years ago by a great Italian industrial family, and the imaginative ideas donated in heritage to the company that prevail to the present day.
The exhibition comprises two main streams. The first, Visual Collection, curated by Manolo De Giorgi, takes us on a brief tour of Olivetti design culture touching on thirty themes having modernity as their common denominator. The second, Designing Life, curated by Ilaria Bussoni and Nicolas Martino, is a narrative created from photographs, publicity posters and words - the archives of the Olivetti Historical Archives Association used as living material from which to observe not just the past, but also the present and a possible future.
The visual tour comprises of more than 150 photographic images (original, unedited photographic prints, the majority of which never before on show), by some of the past century’s masters of photography, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Ugo Mulas, Francisc Català Roca and Fulvio Roiter. In completion, a selection of a dozen of the most surprising posters from Olivetti World production and a collection of advertising posters by Giovanni Pintori from the late 50s to early 60s.
The concept of visionary design that so strongly typifies the Olivetti past finds expression in its iconic products - from the M1, first typewriter, to the Lettera22, P101 and the Valentine – these being just a few of the over 20 pieces on show. Also on offer, a quick look at a product from the new digital race - the Form200 connected cash register - the first product resulting from the Olivetti Design Contest, a company initiative in which participate the most prestigious European universities of art and design.
"Olivetti has written important pages in industrial history, changing the lives of entire generations through its visionary ability to anticipate the future, building a business concept based on courageous ethical choices and a profound belief in social advancement - states Olivetti CEO Riccardo Delleani. Design, organisation of industrial activities, the role of intellectuals, giving art value and technological innovation have always been the tools for proposing and creating better production models and improving life. The beautiful design of the objects and illustrations on show represent one of the most visible forms of the values the exhibition aims to convey, the object being to provide visitors with the vital stimulation for looking ahead, encouraged by a great past".