“Everyone is a multi-disciplinarian now, especially designers,” says Chris Kraig, the creative director of New York–based showroom Suite NY. He’s describing the influence of Angelo Mangiarotti, the late Italian architect who firmly believed that designers should prioritize the everyday needs of users. This humanist ethos guided his illustrious career, which began in Milan in 1948, through to his death in 2012. Mangiarotti applied his engineering and architecture background to the sculptures, furniture, and practical items he made. “All his pieces,” says Kraig, “are connected somehow.”
That cohesion recently led Suite NY to acquire a limited-edition collection of unseen cast bronze pieces designed at the height of Mangiarotti’s career. Consisting of the SK207 dining table and three versions of the like-minded Cap53 vessels, the reissues demonstrate how Mangiarotti was a maverick of material experimentation, with a prescient understanding of the ways that shape, space, texture, and color create exceptional pieces of functional sculpture.
“Mangiarotti took the plasticity of concrete and translated it into the lost-wax process of bronze casting, which was an ancient technique,” says Kraig about the SK207 Table (1959), which is available in a limited run of 100 (Suite NY has #1). Lost-wax casting, a long and elaborate process in which molds need to be destroyed to extract the item, results in each creation being entirely one-of-a-kind—more conducive to creating sculptures than mass-produced objects. Sculptural, indeed: The shape and resistance of the table’s curved bronze base supports a striking marble tabletop, creating an unquestionable statement piece.