70’s-free-spirit keep shining, evoking in our soul the movements for freedom and peace. This desire for unprecedented novelty, happiness, joy of living, resulted in an exceptionally creative period in which the classic beauty would lead to a multitude of expressions that would go far beyond any manifestation hitherto known, deepening into modernity with the unprecedented use of shapes, colors and materials.
“The first and essential principle of any creative process is innate in the artist and, as one of the greatest art critics of the Sung period, Kuo Jo-Hsü, wrote: ‘it grows in the silence of the soul'”
In today’s world of easily digestible interior trends, Gabriella Crespi singular designs are deeply personal and up to date. The desire of not aiming to mass-produce anything and letting her mind blow between imagination with the glitz and glamour of a generation made of her the purest expression of the moment she lived in and that is why you are reading about her today.
This ninety-fourth years old free soul became part of Design’s world by graduating from the Liceo Artistico at the Accademi di Belle Arti di Brera and starting her Architecture studies at the Politecnico in Milan, where she started developing her inner perspective in creation by articulating forms that meet the needs of contemporary design and her ability by addition and subtraction or changes in function.
Challenge could be the word to describe her life path. Lone woman earning the respect of her peers and marrying Giuseppe Maria Crespi made the creative community to be reluctant to accept such a glamorous member — Elisabetta Crespi remembers her mother wanting to be known as an independent island.
“I have always considered my independence in my work as well as in my life as one of my biggest achievement”
Related to that explains Francesco Vezzoli: “She was a woman, she was an aristocrat, she was wealthy[…] But today, in this post-ideological moment, all the things that would have worked against her are no longer valid. People look at the work, and they want to buy it because it’s so special”
Crespi’s best-known pieces are remarkable not only for their sleek, modern design, but also for their functionality, like the Plurimi furniture series, which she first introduced in 1968 and produced through the 1970s. Forms could be opened and rearranged; some, like the Yang Yin mobile bars, featured internal shelves and storage spaces for bottles. In 1974, she had a hit with the Rising Sun collection, which featured furniture and housewares in starburst patterns of bamboo. This collection expanded to include many types of home décor, such as platters, bassinets, and screens.
Spirituality takes a significant role in Gabriella’s life: her belief is that life is a matter of cycles. She left her penthouse in Milan, which acted as her showroom, in mid 1980’s and moved to India, where she spent almost two decades meditating and practicing yoga. However, at a time in 2006 while visiting her family in Milan she broke her femur and she felt it was like a new cycle beginning, so she came back to world of design starting where she left all.
Her very new beginning wheeled out old ideas she had at her sketches revisited in bronze, which required new strategies.
She is currently living à la Milanese and thinking about new projects. We cannot wait to see what this implausible woman has to show !
“The art of living is the supreme art.”