Ettore SOTTSASS (designer)<br />
 MEMPHIS, Milan (manufacturer and retailer)<br/>
<em>Carlton room divider</em> 1981 <!-- (front view) --><br />

wood, thermosetting laminate, metal, plastic<br />
(a-c) 196.0 x 189.7 x 40.2 cm (overall) (closed)<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased with the assistance of the National Gallery Women's Association, 1985<br />
D76.a-c-1985<br />
© erede Ettore Sottsass / Copyright Agency, 2024

Ettore Sottsass Carlton room divider 1981

Ettore SOTTSASS (designer)
 MEMPHIS, Milan (manufacturer and retailer)

The Milan-based design group Memphis was established by Ettore Sottsass in 1981. Memphis rejected the restraint and recognised ‘good-taste’ of functionally derived design, instead producing works with a sense of fun and provocation. Much of the group’s furniture and object design evolved from geometric forms. The Carlton room divider is an exercise in geometry, squares, rectangles and triangles given unexpected twists with the angled members and the ‘stick figure’ form that stands on the upper shelf. It was designed to be freestanding like a sculpture, while functioning as a practical and decorative piece of furniture. A feature of Memphis furniture was its use of plastic laminate, particularly with printed patterns.