Gabriella Crespi

Born in 1922, Gabriella Crespi studies architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, where her work is permeated by her perspective on Le Corbusier’s and Frank Lloyd Wright’s design experience. Since the 1950s, she has dedicated herself to the creation and worldwide circulation of furniture and other objects that balance design and sculptural abstraction. Crespi began her career as a designer in the 1950s with her first production of objects, the "Small Lune Collection", steel moon-shaped sculptures, in which the stylistic influences of time converge and are transformed.
In the beginning of the 1960s, she established an enthusiastic creative relationship with Maison Dior, especially in the context of home and table accessories and, from the 1970s, with furniture.
In 1968, the prototype of her first "Plurimo" was exhibited in Dallas a representative of Italian design of the era.
In 1970, Gabriella’s daughter, Elisabetta, began her collaboration in the famous "Plurimi" series, the name of which is a tribute to Emilio Vedova. These "metamorphic" furniture pieces ("Magic Cube," "2000," "Dama," "Scultura") are a play on volumes and evolutionary possibilities of the same form that change in space, in perpetual dialogue with both the environment and light. That same year, "Kaleidoscopes" and "Lune", the leitmotif of Gabriella Crespi’s poetic philosophy, were born: sculptures and lamps that introduced a creative intervention in design.
Between 1970 and 1974, she created her most significant lost-wax works, including the sculpture “My Soul” (1974), the "Animali" collections, (bronze sculptures with a fairy-like feel that reveal Gabriella’s relentless attention to the natural world), "Jewels," and "Gocce Oro:" free flowing sculptures conceived through the ancient and precious process of lost-wax casting.
Between 1972 and 1975, she designed the "Quick Change Sofa", the "Z" line ( "Z Bar," "Z Desk" ) and the "Rising Sun" bamboo collection, material much loved by Crespi that, as she says, "unites strength and flexibility." The famous "Fungo" lamps (1973) are part of this collection.
In 1976, the new "Plurimi" ("Ellisse" and "Cubo Tondo"), the "Sheherazade" collection, and the "Stone Sculptures" took shape.
Between 1978 and 1980, the bookcase-block "Menhir" (1978), the "Yang Yin" collection (1979), and the two sculpted tables "Ara" (1979) and "Lunante" (1980) were created.
In 1980, Gabriella Crespi designed three new "Plurimi" ("Blow Up," "Eclipse," "Sit & Sip") and in 1982 she presented "Punto ’83," her last "Plurimo" and a unique piece, at Milan’s Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica as part of the exhibition "I Plurimi di Gabriella Crespi" introduced by Vanni Scheiwiller.
In 1985 she released the last interviews on her work as a designer before setting out on a new life completely devoted to the spiritual quest, a path she follows to this today.
In 1987, she traveled to India where she met Sri Muniraji, who became her spiritual advisor. Gabriella lived in India almost without break for two decades.
In 2005, Crespi returned to Italy and started her book "Ricerca di Infinito, Himalaya" which was published in 2007.
In 2011 Palazzo Reale dedicated the great anthology "The Sign and the Spirit" to Gabriella Crespi. It was a tribute to a prominent figure of Italian creativity who has left a permanent mark in the shape of the design culture of our time.
Gabriella Crespi now lives in Milan, practices meditation daily, and is considering new creative projects.
Copyright © 2012, Gabriella Crespi.

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