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Urano Palma (Varese 1936 – 2010) has been an Italian artist and designer who, during the Sixties and Seventies, through his work started to clash with the traditional design concepts of functionality and serial factory production. In this sense, his most famous works are representative: he used to create unique pieces lacking of functionality and made through the woodworms technique. The results, tuned with the anti design conceptions, were artworks with an old and already used appearance, in contrast with the “just come out” of the factory production process.
Urano Palma used to wander through many Italian cities always careful to the artistic scenes, but he decided to settle in Milan, where he had the chance to meet and working close by Lucio Fontana. During his more than fifty years career, Urano Palma made exhibitions in Germany (Ulm, Munich, Düsseldorf), in France, Spain, USA and recently in Korea, where he was chosen together with other eight sculptors to represent Italy for Seoul Olympic games with a work made of cast iron, which is exhibited at the Permanent Museum of Contemporary Art in Seul.
“(…) My interest for you in every way is derived from your way of dealing with materials that, in the repudiation of all the opportunities and the mischiefs accepted today in comparison with the mediums, restores in your case – it seems to me – a relationship of pure and now obsolete dexterity, obstinately aimed at pursuing fantastic forms.
I’ll wait for you at the factory to watch your experiments.”
Dino Gavina , letter written by Dino Gavina to Urano Palma, 16 april 1975
“The chair is the basis, the bearer of strength, and also the monument, the existential outlet. Urano Palma’s chair are tower, castle, grand warehouse of the past, but they carry themselves well. They are robust, nervous, vital. They look like passers-by, always ready to enact some gesture of challenge or braveness.”
Pierre Restany, from “Urano Palma. 38 anni … non solo di sedie”, catalogue exhibition, 24 september – 24 october 1992, Vismara Arte, Milan
“Against the practical functionality he claims a different psychological functionality: exactly an ironic functionality. It can also be almost taken for an ecological revenge, almost that woodworm-nature regains possession of objects and materials.”
Enrico Crispolti, from “Urano Palma”, catalogue exhibition, april 1996, Galleria Rinaldo Rotta, Genova
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