Italian Illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli Displays 37 Works at Her First Exhibition in France
“We don’t embroider cushions here.” Those were the dismissive words Le Corbusier uttered to a young Charlotte Perriand when she came to his Paris studio one October afternoon in 1927 looking to work with him. Fortunately, she was not deterred: She was ultimately hired and became a significant collaborator on many of his projects, one being the Unité d’Habitation de Marseille, for which Perriand did the interiors. It’s that quote along with Perriand’s body of work that inspired Olimpia Zagnoli’s current exhibition—titled “Ici nous ne brodons pas de cousins,” Corbu’s above quote in French—at the iconic housing unit, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The Italian illustrator’s first exhibition in France features 37 pieces, from a 2019 cover for The New Yorker to ones created specifically for the show, including her debut sculpture, which is in concrete echoing the rough-cast concrete facade of Corbu’s building. But Zagnoli’s lines and color combinations, along with the idea of making art a part of everyday life are winks to Perriand.
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