Design & Decoration S02 ep3 : Paola Colombari, Colombari Antiques, [????]
Interview with Paola Colombari
Paola Colombari is the daughter of the oldest antique-dealer dynasties of northern Italy. Paola co-founded with her sister Rossella her first gallery in 1981 in Turin., for approximately ten years the Gallery concentrated on the research of twentieth century design, actively participating in the development of modern collecting, with particular attention to the study and promotion of the famous architect from Turin Carlo Mollino. In 1989 the Colombari sisters opened their first Galleries in Milan and divided it into two branches: the Gallery of Contemporary Art and Avant-garde Design curated by Paola Colombari and the Mid-Century Design Gallery curated by Rossella Colombari.At this juncture, Paola Colombari, an innovative and multi-disciplinary figure, decided to branch away from her long experience with mid-century design and veer towards the experimentation of new post-modernist trends with the foundation in 1991 of the brand EDIZIONI GALLERIA COLOMBARI dedicated to the production of Art Design furnitures designed by important Italian and international designers such as: Karim Rashid, Antonio Cagianelli, David Palterer, Garouste & Bonetti, Yaacov Kaufman, Pawel Grunert , Riccardo Dalisi, Luca Sacchetti, Joanna Lyle and has also collaborated with historical designers such as Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi, Mario Bellini, Bob Wilson, and Ron Arad. In 1994, the Galleria began the production of the series “Homage to Carlo Mollino”, with the reproduction of seminal pieces of the architect’s ouevre. In 1990, collaborations with important international galleries and museums were also launched (including the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Montréal, Canada - KunsterKolonie Museum, Darmstadt, Germany - Museum of Gent and Oostende, Belgium - Kulturring StadtGallerie, Sundern - Museum of Contemporary Art, Castle of Warsaw, Poland). Colombari also organized exhibitions dedicated to the work of Carlo Mollino for the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, such as the Paris exhibition in 2000 and then in Amsterdam and Brussels in 2001.
Colombari: My grandfather was the antiques dealer private of the King. The King in Turino the
Savoya and we are, we have the f… and the rules in the d… of our family that all from 200 years
and more all family and the next family is in to art.
Colombari: My sister and I, we are the first generation that we stopping completely the history of
the antiques dealer because today the modern is the contemporary design is the new modern
concept of the antiques.
Colombari: One day a friend of my father that is an antiques dealer in the African phone us and
said I have boat to many pieces of Africa but there was a strange table, very long table, 1950 in
maple, I don’t know I’m not interested, probably you are younger you have opened now the
gallery, probably you are interested. My sister came in to see the pieces and she so, when arrive in
the night, Rosella what happened, I check this furniture, it’s incredible. I bought it. What you have
pay? We have paid all the money that we have in the bank. And oh my God.
Colombari: After a week this man inform us that the you think that you know that is the … so we
go immediately in the university because my sister and I, I am an archaeologic Egyptian, my sister
was artist, and so we haven’t had culture in the architects so we come in the university and the
university is still closed that they doesn’t give us the information about … Carlo Molino because
Carlo Molino is very genius and when he died the university decide to kill completely him.
Colombari: One day we have the opportunity to discover a precious list where Molino projected
the special house because during the 1950’s, 1940’s there is the special project for important
family. So we take the kit, we phone every family in Turino, every family for to find some pieces
of Carlo Molino. The later, later phone was Casa De … very famous for the baby books and print,
editor for baby, very famous in Turino that we phone and normal assistant said yes, we have some
pieces in the storage, very old, that these people they want to sell because is not interested. So we
come my sister in during this day our life change because when we opened the door, is like the
tomb of Tutankhamen 50 pieces is … in the storage, 50.
Colombari: Our history change because Molino in this moment that we discover he hasn’t value,
but our works beginning to create the value, the value of the pieces and we remember that the
sister Colombari the first our client was Bruno Bishofberger. Bruno Bishofberger is the galleryist
in Zurich who was the first galleryist in the world because he was the galleryist of Andy Warhol.
Colombari: The trick is later that our discover we were director of the very important auction
house in Italy and we have organised the first auction in the world of modernists and Carlo Molino
is the father of this process of the new collectors … so is 1985 in Venice … and in this auction that
my sister and I we was 25 old, very young, all people come in the world for to know who is this
Carlo Molino and these two sisters and come in the director for Christies and director, director
Colombari: Carlo Molino today the in the auction is very expensive, in the future will be more,
now increased is the recent action, Monday where the price for one armchair is £500,000.
Colombari: Molino is very surrealistic, the shape is like the lea, is very anthropomorphic there is
the energy the transfer between different language in the signature very dynamic there is the very
historical transfer and it’s for that that all the collectors they want to yeah.
Colombari: 10 years before there was the collector’s boat in London in Paris in the more important
only a little the night, the pieces until the … period 1930, 1945, but the past were the 1949 is the
signature date that is the changement.
Colombari: The changement of the art and craft industry begin to produce not only the unique
pieces or the specialty project for important family or beginning the process of the social language
the modernist is the first approach of the art for the people.
Colombari: The modernist is the signature of the passage of the old to the … of the … system for
the freedom language of where the shapes of the design is for everybody.
Colombari: Today the modernist is leaps this moment to the top in New York the Christies auction
the Richer Right House in Chicago and the collectors are full in the States for this new wave, they
love the Italian style.
Colombari: Five years ago I decide to put with the design the contemporary art. For me the new
formula is the design art together.
Colombari: One month ago I organise my first exhibition not in this gallery but with my American
partner, the first, the first show of the contemporary, contemporary Indian art it’s just that is full,
also in London now. And the future is Asiatic.
Colombari: Today for me the new tendency is the new hip hop. I work in the hip hop so like Karim
Asheet, Karim Asheet that we have now yes is a designer, Karim works with the hip hop signature
like Antonio Cantronelli that is the father of this new movement and the signature of the hip hop
movement is a second process of the graphics. A … of the graphics was in the radical art after the
pop art, so the new trend is to go is the new baroque, down baroque and hip hop.
Colombari: For me discover is only to understand in myself the … of this signature that is in my
energy, is a transfer for energy, the artworks for me they gives me the street today for the mix of
the social language and expression for the way that you give with your piece of art.
Colombari: The art world it is very conflicted very difficult. Today unfortunately we have the
investors. One way is the art process, the other way is the action directed of the investors that they
want to know before immediately what is the future.
Colombari: I like the first market, the first market is when the work in progress of the artist is not
definitive and the way is open and I’m interesting to live with the artist and in this case the gallery
is beginning a very interesting process with the artist because there is a first the relation of like the
galleryist and the artist with a little distance in the second times more easy, more easy, and third
when the artist begin to start is because one enter philosophy in the other. For example I live with
my artist in my mind some artists ask me what I think about words we discuss it, I like very much
the working process of the soul of the artist.
Colombari: I’m p… I open the street and I like to open the street I open crate the management of
the system only because I’m very hard, I’m not interested to produce money, I’m interesting to
produce culture so this is my business.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Paola Colombari, Colombari Antiques, ????