Almost Secret – Drawers, where Art meets Design.


Drawers and chests: objects with a practical function that are also able to suggest visions, memories, implications. Becoming symbols. This is the theme of the exhibition “Almost Secret”, curated by Beppe Finessi.

The exhibition “Almost Secret – Drawers, where Art meets Design”, curated by Beppe Finessi, was held at Museo Poldi Pezzoli from 16 March to 25 April 2016. The stimulus for this path of study intersecting art and design came in this case from drawers and dressers: a particular typology in the history of decor, also illustriously represented by a number of historic objects in the collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli. Drawers – with their ability to store, organise and conceal – have a clear practical purpose. Nevertheless, as the curator Beppe Finessi points out, “precisely due to their intended use, drawers convey visions, memories and implications”. The opening or closing of a drawer is a simple gesture, but it takes on ritual aspects, charged with the prompting and expression of emotions (just consider a drawer slammed shut in a moment of rage).

Young designers and great masters alike have come to grips with the drawer, its established tradition and reinterpretation. In “Genesio” by Alik Cavaliere, a classic vertical chest features handles as an integral part of the design. The creations of Alessandro Mendini play freely with decoration. Tejo Remy piles drawers up in random clusters. But the show also features sophisticated works by Mario Botta and Ettore Sottsass, and those of Shiro Kuramata, a refined exponent of Japanese 20th-century design. “Almost Secret – Drawers, where Art meets Design” was installed throughout the visit itinerary of Museo Poldi Pezzoli, harmoniously inserted amidst the cabinets and chests already found in the historic collection of the house-museum, “little Wunderkammers – says Annalisa Zanni, director of the museum – made in rare, precious materials, to contain special objects, often impossible to find if not for those who created and owned them”. “Quasi Segreti”, the exhibition curated by “INVENTARIO”, was coordinated and sponsored by Foscarini. This choice reflects the company’s versatile approach: to create interaction amongst different art forms – design, photography, painting, sculpture – to offer viewers new and unusual experiences.