Author(s): Eva Czernis-Ryl
Contemporary Silver: Made in Italy is the first book to tell the story of Italian silverware of the last three decades. Italy has a long and rich history of decorative precious metalwork which has contributed to its achievements in the twentieth century. However, the preference for styles of the past, and the emblematic quality of silver as a material traditionally associated with the elite, hindered technical and stylistic innovation for some time.
Today, Italy is a world leader in the production of high-quality and innovative contemporary silverware, emerging with great force in the 1970s. In the early 1980s, Italian-made silver entered the global market, with Alessi's extraordinary 'tea & coffee piazzas' series - eleven tea and coffee sets designed by leading Italian and international architects - becoming icons of Postmodern design. Highly influential, Italian silverware has played a key role in transforming a somewhat unfashionable material into objects of desire for the contemporary consumer.
Contemporary Silver showcases the work of major Italian architects and designers such as Ettore Sottsass Jr, Carlo Scarpa, Alessandro Mendini and Robert Venturi, Italian design companies such as Alessi and Memphis, and leading silversmithing studios. It also features designs and work produced for Italian firms by some of the most acclaimed international architects such as Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Charles Jencks, Richard Meier and Kazumasa Yamashita. It will be invaluable for collectors, consumers and design historians.