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Zoom. Italian Design and the Photography of Aldo and Marirosa Ballo

March 15 - June 16, 2013

"… the high of looking at these photographs or handling these wonderful design gems makes Zoom an exhibit most certainly worth remembering." -- Pierluigi Serraino, ARCADE

"The Bellevue Arts Museum is the only U.S. venue for this compelling exhibition, and it's worth traveling for. My only word of caution: You may be struck with object envy." -- Gayle Clemans, The Seattle Times

"… A chair is a chair is a chair until, say, Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi bend a sheet of Fiberglas into the Dondolo rocking chaise lounge. Would you want to sit on it today? Maybe not; but thanks to the Ballos, it still looks terrific." -- Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly

In the second half of the 20th century, Italian design attained worldwide recognition. The Milanese photographers Aldo Ballo and Marirosa Toscani Ballo played an important part in this success. By communicating the beauty and function of objects as well as their cultural message, the Ballos' photographs contributed significantly to the mythological status that surrounds Italian design even today. Based on the holdings of roughly 146,000 photographs in the archive of Studio Ballo, Zoom presents a new view of Italian design and its history. It focuses not only on the legendary design classics that were created during this period, but also examines the intense dialogue between objects, media and marketing that first facilitated the worldwide dissemination of these designs.


SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 10am - 4pm

Join BAM as we welcome special guests Marirosa Toscani Ballo and Oliviero Toscani and celebrate their legendary contributions to the photography and design world. This exclusive symposium draws on the design principles and branding initiatives that have made these siblings synonymous with Italian design. More details >


Aldo Ballo and Marirosa Toscani Ballo in their studio in Milan, 1971 - 72


An exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany. Local presentation of this exhibition is curated by Nora Atkinson, and made possible by The Seattle Foundation.