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

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.