‘Teatro Albers’ at Milan Design Week 2023 presents new works by Marco Campardo

Milan Design Week 2023: ‘Teatro Albers’ is an exhibition inspired by teachings by Anni and Josef Albers, with new works by Marco Campardo curated by Ambra Medda and Veronica Sommaruga of AMO

Teatro Albers presents new works by Marco Campardo
Left, Marco Campardo at work in his temporary studio at Grymsdyke Farm. Right, a stool from the ‘Tutti Frutti Megalith’ collection presented at Teatro Albers
(Image credit: Courtesy AMO)

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Creative platform AMO was launched by Ambra Medda and Veronica Sommaruga, who look to their backgrounds in art, design and textiles to draw bridges between historical and contemporary creativity. Their inaugural venture is ‘Teatro Albers’, an exhibition at Milan Design Week 2023 featuring work informed by the teachings of Josef and Anni Albers that celebrates contemporary craftsmanship. Taking over the spaces of a Milanese nunnery and school (which both Medda and Sommaruga attended as children), the exhibition features the work of master weaver Laura de Cesare and London-based Italian designer Marco Campardo. 

Teatro Albers

‘Teatro Albers’ at Istituto Marcelline, with textiles reproduced by AMO from Anni Albers designs

(Image credit: Laura Fantacuzzi and Maxime Galati Fourcade)

In particular, Campardo has been a firm presence in the emerging contemporary design scene, his work having recently been recognized with the Design Museum’s 2023 Ralph Saltzman Prize. ‘We were drawn to Marco’s work because of its experimental quality,’ say Medda and Sommaruga. ‘He is a very conscientious designer, but there’s a playfulness that shines through too. That combination of serious, academic thinking – along with a free-wheeling (almost mad scientist!) side is what we felt was really powerful.’

‘Teatro Albers’: Tutti Frutti Megalith by Marco Campardo

Tutti Frutti Megalith by Marco Campardo at Teatro Albers

(Image credit: Courtesy AMO)

For the exhibition, Campardo created ‘Tutti Frutti Megalith’, a collection of stools that stem from the designer’s ongoing experimentation with materials and colour – this time looking at the Alberses’ approach to palettes. Campardo’s distinctive attitude to design is based on an exploration of industrial methods, filtered through a handmade process.

To make the stools, Campardo used a cardboard mould to shape the irregular objects made of resin and painted in irregular patterns applied through a reverse painting process, brushed by hand from the inside of the mould – the first time the designer has used surfaces decoratively, developed from a previous series using the same technique in solid hues. Although the colour combinations for this collection are inspired by Josef Albers’ book The Interaction of Colour, Campardo stresses that, like all of his work, ‘the process that led to the final outcome was intuitive, almost meditative’. The chosen shades are combined and camouflaged, ‘to create the illusion of a single, three-dimensional colour. One’s perception changes based on the interactions between them: it’s almost as if the colours themselves are in motion.’

Person mixing paint in workshop for Marco Campardo Tutti Frutti Megalith

(Image credit: George Baggaley)

‘Josef and Anni Albers had a gift for sharing and spreading their knowledge and values, not just through their art, but through their writing and teaching,’ observe Medda and Sommaruga. ‘One of their maxims – that you can go anywhere from anywhere – feels both boundless and extremely focused and disciplined. We love the idea of being freed to follow one’s instinct, whilst being driven by that very freedom to keep moving forward.’

Teatro Albers is on view 17-20 April 2023

Teatro Istituto Marcelline
Via Francesco Petrarca ang. Piazza Tommaseo


A version of this article appears in the May 2023 issue of Wallpaper*, available in print from 13 April, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today

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.