David Bowie’s Personal Collection of Memphis Design

David Bowie’s personal collection of over 100 pieces of playful avant-garde design is now fully revealed for the first time, as the catalogue for “Design: Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group” is published online ahead of Sotheby’s exhibition and sale in November.

Showcasing David Bowie’s passion for the revolutionary group of Italian designers known as the “Memphis Group”, his collection includes definitive pieces of cutting-edge Italian design fitting for the most innovative and daring musician of his generation. Highlights include landmark works such as the Post-Modernist ‘Casablanca’ Sideboard, from the first Memphis collection of 1981, and the unconventional record player, the RR 126 Radiophonograph, designed in 1965 by the brothers Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni for Brionvega.

The Memphis Group transformed every day, affordable objects into extraordinary creations, sometimes prioritising design over practicality. See the ‘Colorado’ Tea Pot (£300-500), ‘Potato’ Serving Tray (£100-150), portable “Cube” Radio  (£150-250), pink geometric ‘Nefertiti’ Tea Set (£300-500),  ‘Parana’ Fruit Bowl (£200-300), the ‘Enorme’ Telephone (£200-300).

“The works produced by the historical avant-garde design collaborative Memphis Milano, led by Ettore Sottsass, could not have found a more receptive and tuned-in audience than David Bowie. This is design with no limits and no boundaries. When you look at a piece of Memphis design, you see their unconventionality, the kaleidoscope of forms and patterns; the vibrant contrasting colours that really shouldn’t work but really do.” – Cécile Verdier, Co-Head of 20th Century Design at Sotheby’s

The design pieces will be offered for sale alongside over 250 works from David Bowie’s art collection.

Exhibition & Sales

Exhibition: 1-10 November Sotheby’s 34-35 New Bond Street, London

Sales: 10 & 11 November 2016

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