Triennale: the four curves evolve

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Sixty years after its creation, the iconic ceramic tile designed by Gio Ponti and Alberto Rosselli reasserts its timeless value.

The iconic Triennale tile, designed by Gio Ponti for Marazzi to mark the 1960 Milan Triennale, after which it was then named, has gone down in the history of design for challenging the supremacy of square or rectangular forms, with its "four curves" shape. The ceramic tile with the sinuous lines, glossy surface and variety of colours was immediately acclaimed for its great modularity and flexibility. An inspired structure of interlocking joints with unlimited compositional potentials, based on a harmony of opposite: solid/empty, positive/negative, straight/curved, horizontal/vertical. Applied today to all Marazzi collections, it multiplies its expressive strength in an infinite array of textures and colours, like a universal language.

These potentials are reaffirmed today by the new versions of Triennale, where colour takes centre stage in glossy and matt, contrasting or tone-on-tone variants. Versatility becomes total, since the iconic shape is now applied to all the brand's collections, in two sizes, (10×15.5 and 30×46.5 cm) and in two product types, porcelain stoneware and single-fired, for both floors and walls. Thus the four-curve graphic pattern can now be merged, for example, with the expressive strength of resins, stones, concretes and marbles, offered by the Grande collection, or the more architectural, technical potential of SistemS. Not to mention with the retro colours and appeal of D_Segni from the Crogiolo catalogue

Triennale transcends eras, surfaces and contexts, in an open, continual dialogue between history and technology, design and industrial production, form and matter, ceramic and stoneware.

The four-fold curve was recently interpreted by Adrian Samson's photographs, which alternate dramatic, bright hues with neutral shades to create a radiant, colourful universe. Samson himself says " “I fell in love with the colours and patterns of these iconic tiles. I felt they were works of art. We decided not to use any additional material, but to work with just their own shapes and bodies, underlining their sensual appeal.” 

Samson has worked for fashion houses like Hermès and international journals such as Wallpaper and The Gourmand.

The Triennale tile is on show at the exhibition “Gio Ponti: Amare l’architettura” at the Maxxi National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome until 27 September 2020, in two compositions exploring fresh potentials.