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the exhibition, created in partnership with the le corbusier foundation and the charlotte perriand archives, opens in milan new historical material and two new releases are at the core of the show.

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Nemo and american express has launched “la luce” in milan. a story-telling exhibition open to the public from 14th april to 10th may 2015, it will gather for the first time the works on lighting by the true pioneers in the world of lighting – le corbusier and charlotte perriand.

thanks to the le corbusier foundation and the charlotte perriand archives, the public will have the opportunity to admire sketches and studies on lighting. the unpublished historical material, that paris archives released for the first time, will let visitors and enthusiasts retrace experiences and enjoy the distinctive styles of these two great architects.

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the main phases of perriand and le corbusier’s work are displayed in a chronological exhibition, in which light is the true star. visitors will be able, for instance, to see the notes and drawings that le corbusier produced while he was developing some of his most famous and innovative lamps, such as the lampe de marseille, or admire the original sketches that lead charlotte perriand to the creation of her applique à volet or her potance pivotante and the selection of the most appropriate materials for it.

“even before creating his architectural works, le corbusier designed lighting for the interiors of his first clients’ apartments. thereafter, he always designed lighting features to go with all his buildings,” statedmichel richard, le corbusier foundation director.

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the work of le corbusier and charlotte perriand is once again brought to life thanks to Nemo and american express.

“reproducing charlotte perriand’s lights in Nemo, means bring past art work to life in today’s world and make it accessible to a great number of people. it demonstrates that “appropriate” pieces of art, created 50 or 70 years ago, still meet contemporary needs,” added pernette perriand barsac and jacques barsac, from the charlotte perriand archives.

in order to further enhance the exhibition, there will be original photographs of the two artists, at work or in leisure, around a table with friends, together with pablo picasso and, inevitably, the lampe de marseille.

two new releases, designed by Nemo and dedicated to these two masters, will also be shown to public for the first time.

la roche is the first lamp in le corbusier’s purist style, created in 1925 and originally displayed at the pavillion de l’esprit nouveau; it is an applique lamp made of commercial parts and adapted to the architect’s needs. this lamp has been used in various buildings, including maison la roche in paris, the foundation’s current headquarters.

rio, on the other hand, is a floor lamp of considerable size, created by charlotte perriand during her lifetime experience in brazil in 1963. its structure, which holds up two lanterns made of technical fabric, is made with rebar, and was inspired by a night of “candomblè” in bahia. its pointed edges, in fact, resemble the horns of a devil.

“Nemo has been collaborating with the le corbusier foundation and the charlotte perriand archives for about five years. in this time, we have studied and produced lamps designed by the two architects,” explained federico palazzari, Nemo CEO. “we searched the archives and, in their notes and sketches, we were lucky enough to find the great accuracy and discipline shared by the work and attitude of these two masters. together with american express, we felt that we had to devote our space in corso monforte, during the milan furniture fair as well as coinciding with the opening of expo, to displaying this unique and unpublished material, which features, along with sketches and drawings, some original, never-before-exhibited prototypes. we also believe we are fulfilling le corbusier’s wishes, as, in his lifetime, he decided to establish the foundation in his name, in order to publicize and protect his vast body of work.”

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“we are glad to have joined our forces with Nemo to create this visionary initiative, which has brought the masterpieces and unpublished projects of these two masters in italy,” said melissa peretti, country manager of american express italia. “it confirms once again american express’ commitment in supporting all forms of culture and art, a choice we have made from the beginning that has always inspired our customers”.

american express’ involvement in the exhibition, which is open to the public from 14th april to 10th may 2015, renews their connection to the world and le corbusier’s work, and proves that the company recognizes the importance of history and innovative art forms. indeed, in its tourist excursions in paris in 1934, american express added a guided tour to admire the 24 nc building, designed by le corbusier, years before it became a historic monument.

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the exhibition

open to the public: 14 april – 10 may 2015.

corso monforte 19 – milan, italy.

free admission

about Nemo

NEMO is one of the leading lighting companies in the world, a cornerstone in its field, rooted in a history of innovation that has always inspired italian design. Nemo has created the masters collection, a unique selection of lamps, designed by international design icons, such as le corbusier, charlotte perriand, vico magistretti, franco albini and kazuhide takahama. along with these projects, Nemo is devoted to the creation of contemporary icons, collaborating with designers such as mario bellini, doriana and massimiliano fuksas, foster + partners, karim rashid, javier mariscal, jehs + laub and arihiro miyake. founded in milan in 1993 by franco cassina, Nemo is, to this day, an entirely italian company, and is owned by federico palazzari.

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the artistic direction and exhibition layout have been curated by una (andrea castelli, valentina folli e margherita paleari), a team of design professionals who have chosen to illustrate the passing of time with a narrative experience. in this way, the exhibition marks the birth of the projects by le corbusier and charlotte perriand, who worked with light not only as a technical lighting feature, but also as an architectural symbol.

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