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At the Made in design gallery, the joyful madness of Memphis

40 years after its launch by the Italian Ettore Sottsass, the Memphis movement continues to amaze us. Until January 8, 2022, the Made In Design gallery at Printemps Haussmann is hosting the exhibition “Umeda & Memphis, Sensory Dialogues”. The opportunity to discover or rediscover the movement.

Like an echo of the exhibition-tribute to its precursor at the Center Pompidou, the 6th floor of Printemps Haussmann takes on the colors of Memphis. Exclusively, the Made in Design gallery presents the Night Tales collection by Japanese designer Masanori Umeda, released in 2020, and offers to discover these pieces as a world exclusive. “I immediately fell in love with this collection. I felt that it had to be presented, in a neat staging, which enhances the duality of references with which plays Masanori Umeto . And we have obtained world exclusivity for these pieces until January,” says Catherine Collin, founder of Made in Design.

Masanori Umeda in the spotlight…

Night Tales thus unveils new pieces such as the Utamaro Bed – whose backlighting accentuates a levitation effect – and the Utamaro Armchair, both limited to 12 copies. Largely inspired by the famous Tawaraya boxing ring, they are dyed in the subtle colors of traditional kimonos and adorned with black and white stripes, specific to Memphis. At the same time, the collection also presents reissues of objects designed in the 80s, such as the Animal armchair and the Medusa table, inspired by a 1982 drawing and produced in only 24 copies each.

Utamaro bed, Night Tales collection, Masanori Umeda design, Made in Design

… and French women involved in the Memphis movement

Invited to the inauguration of the exhibition, the French designer Martine Bedin did not hide her pride in the enthusiasm still aroused by the Memphis movement, of which she herself is a pioneer: “It’s been 40 years, but I don’t think the movement has aged a bit. I am happy and quite proud to see that it continues to arouse interest and curiosity after all these years”. Among the pieces that we find along the way, we recognize at first glance his Negresco Wall Lamp and his Super table lamp inspired by a small baby carriage.

Super table lamp and Negresco wall lamp, 1981, design Martine Bedin
Santa Fe pendant lamp, design Matteo Thun, 1983, and Burundi fabrics, design Nathalie du Pasquier, 1981

If the exhibition pays particular homage to the work of Masanori Umeda by presenting his new collection, it allows at the same time to find mythical objects of the movement. Thus, design enthusiasts find themselves with the famous Beverly sideboard or the Tartar console by Ettore Sottsass, alongside the dresser by George J. Sowden and the Roma armchair by Zanini. To be noted, the staging particularly enhances in a set of responses the work of the motif that the Frenchwoman Nathalie Du Pasquier brought to the movement, in particular in the presentation of little exposed fabrics or her California carpet.
Maïa Pois

The exhibition is held on the 6th floor of Printemps Haussmann until January 8, 2022, located at 64 boulevard Haussmann in Paris. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Serigraphs and Palace armchair (1983); Dresser from Antibes and Table Pierre (1981), design George S. Sowden