New horizons: ceramic brand Mutina champions its inaugural art project

The new MUT exhibition space
Cerith Wyn Evans' work Think of this as a Window, 2005, lends its name to Mutina's first exhibition, displayed in the new MUT exhibition space at the company's headquarters
(Image credit: Mutina)

Ceramic tiles specialist Mutina makes its first foray into art with an ambitious new project titled ‘MUT’, unveiled at the brand's Angelo Mangiarotti-designed headquarters.

The MUT initiative also includes an annual art prize, titled ‘This is not a Prize’ (presented last year), and ‘Dialogue’, an ongoing programme of collaborations with artists, galleries and international institutions. The project will be spearheaded by art curator Sarah Cosulich, whose impressive portfolio includes work for the Francesco Bonami-curated Venice Biennale and directing Turin’s annual Artissima fair. 

MUT (short for Mutina but also the German word for ‘courage’) is an exhibition space that celebrates the company’s history and the people who made it possible, while also presenting a new model of approaching art. Works will be shown in conversation with Mangiarotti’s 1970s building, a shell of concrete and glass that will play host to solo exhibitions as well as thematic shows with younger artists presented alongside established names in the field. 

Light Blue Knot

Light Blue Knot, by Sherrie Levine, far left, is shown alongside Ceal Floyer’s Ink on Paper series. In the foreground is a sculpture by Fischli/Weiss

(Image credit: Mutina)

The first exhibition, ‘Think of this as a Window’, features works by Cerith Wyn Evans (whose neon piece inspired the exhibition title), Fischli/Weiss, Ettore Spalletti and Hiroshi Sugimoto, exploring a path across space and time, a collection developed through portraits, processes and landscapes. ‘[The window] metaphorically represents what art does,’ says Cosulich. ‘It does not simply create images, but images capable of opening up new realities, beyond what is close to us, what is known or familiar. To become a window, art requires an observer.’

With MUT, the main objective of the company is to open itself to new influences; to pass on Mutina’s ongoing commitment to the arts; and offer a new creative vision both for its team and for visitors. ‘This is not a Prize’ will also see the brand accompany an artist for a year, in support of a future project. In 2016, Mutina worked with Giorgio Andreotta Calò to support his work at the Venice Biennale; while this year the (non-)award went to photographer Jochen Lempert, who will begin a collaboration with the company to for a new project to be unveiled in 2018. 

The building was designed

The building was designed by Angelo Mangiarotti in 1972, featuring glass and concrete in a structure originally design to house the tile factory. It doubles up perfectly as a contemporary art space

(Image credit: Mutina)

The artworks are displayed

The artworks are displayed in conversation with the space, and include sculptures such as Marisa Merz's Untitled, left, and Francesco Gennari's Noi, right

(Image credit: Mutina)

Answer to History

Answer to History, by Franz Erhard Walther, left, and Félix González-Torres’s ‘Untitled’, right, part of his ‘Dateline’ series 

(Image credit: Mutina)

A triptych of rectangular blue canvases

Pictured left, Multiverso, by Renato Leotta, is a triptych of rectangular blue canvases soaked in seawater, stained with a white line of salt. Right, Clessidra, by Giorgio Andreotta Calò, the 2016 winner of Mutina's ‘This is not a Prize’ award

(Image credit: Mutina)

Works by Ettore Spalletti

Works by Ettore Spalletti (left), Etel Adnan (centre) and Wolfgang Tillmans (right) in the new gallery space

(Image credit: Mutina)


For more information, visit Mutina’s website


MUT at Mutina
Via Ghiarola Nuova 16
41042 Fiorano (MO)


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.