Mazzoleni Invites: DimoreGallery - (Un)comfort Zone
Left: A porthole looking into the ‘dining room’ at Mazzoleni London. Right: a close-up of the space. Photography: courtesy of DimoreGallery / Mazzoleni

How can a gallery show its art collections in a fresh light? Enlist design mavericks to inject them with some drama.

That’s the premise behind Mazzoleni London’s new exhibition series Mazzoleni Invites, tapping creative talents to respond to its archive of Italian postwar art. First up are Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, of Milan design mecca DimoreGallery.

Drama they have certainly provided.

The dressing room is furnished with Mod.1943 wall lamps by Max Ingrand produced by FontanaArte; the Armadio 098 Progetto Non Finito collection by DimoreStudio (mahogany structure with wooden printed doors and mirror details); and a pink layered oil painting by Paolo Scheggi dating from 1969, among other pieces. Photography: courtesy of DimoreGallery / Mazzoleni

DimoreGallery have turned Mazzoleni visitors into voyeurs, giving them glimpses into five interrupted domestic scenes through a series of peepholes. In the dining room – backed by artworks by Agostino Bonalumi and Dadamaino – a game of poker has been abandoned, but the TV still blares atop a liquor cabinet by Osvaldo Borsani.

Over in the bedroom, things take a more sinister turn. Here you’ll spy a razor blade and bloodstained tissues atop a pair of 1950s Italian beds.

Mazzoleni Invites: DimoreGallery - (Un)comfort Zone
The bedroom includes a pair of Trilobo series wall lamps manufactured by Venini, twin 1950s Italian beds, and artist Getulio Alviani’s 1939 ‘Rilievi Speculari a Elementi’. Photography: courtesy of DimoreGallery / Mazzoleni

‘Whenever we design apartments or restaurants, we like the idea of creating mini worlds for people so the idea was to do the same thing with our Mazzoleni show, (Un)comfort Zone, and push it a little bit more,’ says Moran. ‘One of the things we would really love to do is work in cinema so this gave us the chance to do something more like set design.’

He cites Italian director Luchino Visconti as a reference.

The living room features a 1969 yellow canvas by Agostino Bonalumi; three works from the 1960s by Getulio Alviani; the Confidential sofa by Alberto Rosselli produced by Saporiti; and Fungo table lamps by Gabriella Crespi. Photography: courtesy of DimoreGallery / Mazzoleni

Moran and Salci are known for using rich colours in wildly inventive ways under their design arm DimoreStudio – be it at Casa Fayette in Guadalajara or Palazzo Fendi in Milan. The much-in-demand-pair have bought this flair to London’s Mayfair, creating sumptuous spaces that show how postwar art and design can be used in fresh ways. A technicolour 1989 artwork by Victor Vasarely jibes a against a botanical contemporary carpet by DimoreStudio, for example, and a carefully designed lighting scheme makes everything pop.

The bathroom comprises includes a toilet set by Gio Ponti for Ideal Standard; a Mod. P600 table lamp by Gino Sarfatti; and a silkscreen on polished super mirror stainless steel by Pistoletto, depicting a birdcage draped in a cloth, its inhabitant hidden from view. Photography: courtesy of DimoreGallery / Mazzoleni

At the (Un)comfort Zone, you can look but you can’t touch. Each room’s curious story will keep you spying, however.

Mazzoleni Invites: DimoreGallery – (Un)comfort Zone, runs until 24 September, at Mazzoleni London, 27 Albemarle Street. It’s part of this 2017 London Design Festival.

Read next: DimoreStudio designs a pastel-hued Milan store for Aesop

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