EP1 'The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968-1976'

EP1 'The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968-1976' is devoted to the Italian avant-garde of the period 1968-1976, this being one of the few modern historical moments where a shared set of creative concerns emerged across both art, design and architecture. While re-examining high profile groups like Arte Povera that have received retrospectives at leading institutions such as Tate Modern, the aim of EP1 is equally to highlight previously overlooked spaces, works, and performances generated by Gruppo 9999 and Cavart. Freshly commissioned interviews and essays by historians, curators and critics, including Paola Antonelli (Director of the Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA, New York), Alessandro Mendini (Art Director of Swatch Watches and editor of Domus magazine), and Michelangelo Pistoletto shed new light on the era under scrutiny, while contemporary practitioners discuss its complex legacy. To date, no other single publication has attempted to bring these factions together.

EP1 received strong reviews in the mainstream press with the New York Times design critic commenting that: “Edited by the design historians Catharine Rossi and Alex Coles, [EP1] is the first in a planned series of books exploring links among design, art and architecture…. Combining short essays on key elements of the radical design movement with the reminiscences of its protagonists and reprints of their writing, “The Italian Avant-Garde” sets out not to provide a comprehensive survey, but to evoke the spirit of the movement, inspiring the reader to explore further…. “The Italian Avant Garde” paints an engaging picture of their journey…. The book also traces radical design’s influence on contemporary Italian designers, like Martino Gamper and Studio Formafantasma. And it reminds us of the movement’s prescience in championing design’s social and ecological responsibilities, the importance of collaboration and self-expression, and other burning issues for designers today.”

The Times Literary Supplement critic underlined how: “The images and the range of the work presented [in EP1] are fascinating and stimulating, and provide a strong basis for future editions of this enterprising journal-book series.”

Reviews in key academic journals, such as The Design Journal (Bloomsbury Publishing), Design and Culture (Bloomsbury Publishing), and the Journal of Design History (Oxford University Press) followed. Together this has ensured that EP has gained an international impact in both the academic and commercial sectors of the arts.

In April 2015 EP1 was shortlisted by Educate the North for ‘Research Project of the Year – The Arts’.

EP1 events include:

A debate and launch at the Architectural Association, London, with Pierre Vitorio Aureli: http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=2280

A debate and launch at the Architectural Association, London, with Pierre Vitorio Aureli