Contemporary mosaic is on show in new Ravenna exhibition

Leading contemporary designers interpret mosaic in a new exhibition in Ravenna curated by Maria Cristina Didero

Mosaic in Ravenna by Francesca Lanzavecchia
'Verde Sospeso' by Francesca Lanzavecchia
(Image credit: Courtesy MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna)

Ravenna hosts the 8th Contemporary Mosaic Biennale (until 14 January 2023), celebrating historical and contemporary interpretations of the craft. An exhibition curated by Wallpaper* Milan Editor Maria Cristina Didero (at MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna) explores mosaic through contemporary design, in collaboration with a series of contemporary Milan-based creatives. 

Episodi di Mosaico Contemporaneo at MAR

Contemporary mosaic in Ravenna

'Teodorico' by Atelier Biagetti

(Image credit: Courtesy MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna)

Titled 'Episodi di Mosaico Contemporaneo' (episodes of contemporary mosaic), the exhibition brings together pieces by Atelier Biagetti, Cara/Davide, Francesca Lanzavecchia, Arthur Arbesser, Marco Guazzini and Gio Tirotto. 

The project combines industrial design, advanced 3D printing and support shaping technologies merging with the artisanal skill of mosaic, made by skilled master mosaicists with tiles of stone, glass or ceramic materials. Each studio created a unique design and worked closely with a specialised local mosaic workshop to bring their pieces to life.

Mosaic by Cara Davide

'Tessere' by Cara/Davide 

(Image credit: Courtesy of MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna)

Cara Judd and Davide Gramatica of Cara/Davide created 'Tessere', a trio of geometric objects that explore the mosaic tile as a modular unit of measurement resulting in the stylized forms of a multifunctional seat and coffee table combo. 

Francesca Lanzavecchia, meanwhile, created a series of objects under the aegis of 'Verde Sospeso', a collection of architectural, totemic vases whose design merges nature, design and art. She worked in close collaboration with mosaic artist Arianna Gallo to create the pieces using a specialist direct mosaic technique using enamelled elements. 

Contemporary mosaic in Ravenna

'Coltempo' by Marco Guazzini

(Image credit: Courtesy MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna)

Austrian multidisciplinary designer Arthur Arbesser created 'Miss Universe', a make-up table inspired by the colours of Ravenna's most notable mosaics, connecting with the city on a chromatic level. Marco Guazzini's 'Coltempo' comprises a shelf and a ladder two objects shown in conversation with each other whose mosaic technique lends them a sense of dynamism. 

Finally, Atelier Biagetti (whose founders Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari are originally Ravenna locals) paid homage to the city with their 'living pool'. Shaped as a colourful inflatable pool, it is an object that is both playful interpretation of the craft and a homage to the stone bath of iconic Mausoleo di Teodorico, merging the studio's sense of irony with local history and rituals. 

Contemporary mosaic in Ravenna

Detail of 'Teodorico' by Atelier Biagetti

(Image credit: Courtesy MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna)

The exhibition demonstrates the modern possibilities of mosaic and how skill, history and contemporary design thinking can coexist - shown alongside historical mosaic experiments by Alessandro Mendini and Gaetano Pesce, the six designs will become part of the MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna, helping to enrich the local history of this important craft. 

Episodi di Mosaico Contemporaneo is on view until 14 January 2024 

MAR - Museo d'Arte della città di Ravenna
Via di Roma, 13
48121 Ravenna

Contemporary mosaic in Ravenna

'Miss Universe' by Arthur Arbesser

(Image credit: Courtesy MAR - Museo d’Arte della città di Ravenna)

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.