Since its opening, Galleria Michela Cattai has focused on the study, research and selection of works of Modern and Contemporary Art and Design by some of the most important artists and designers of the twentieth century and brought them together under one roof.

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© 2016 Galleria Michela Cattai


Gino Sarfatti


After having accomplished classical studies, Gino Sarfatti graduated in the Ingegneria Aeronavale in Genova. Following this he transferred to Milan where he associated with Franco Albini, Lucio Fontana, Lica and Albe Steiner. In 1939 he founded Arteluce, a company which soon became an international reference point for the modern movement within the lighting field. Alongside his activities, Gino Sarfatti worked on the production of another four hundred models of lamp, in a constant research of innovative solutions for productive technologies, technical studies of illumination and design characteristics. From the beginning, the project pieces didn’t have a name, but they were identified with the number that is progressive within each category (number from 0 for the wall reflectors, up to 100 for the wall apparatus, to 500 for those for tables etc). In the 1950s and 60s, Artelucerepresented a real meeting point for the Italian designers of the time. Through the collaborators of Arteluce came some of the most significant names of design and architecture: Franco Albini, Franca Helg, Enrico Peressuti, Gianfranco Frattini, Vittoriano Viganò, Sergio Asti, Ico Parisi, Vittorio Gregotti, Lodovico Meneghetti, Max Huber. The awards won for the projects created by Gino Sarfatti for Arteluce are numerous: in 1954, models 1063 and 1065 won il Gran Premio at the X Triennale di Milano, and the model 559 won il Compasso d’Oro. The following year, the award was reassigned to model 1055.  In 1951 the first prestigious Arteluce shop opened in Corso Matteotti in Milan, later redesigned by Marco Zanuso, in collaboration with Albe Steiner. In the 1960s a new showroom was born in Via della Spiga, along with lifelong friend, Vittoriano Viganò. From the 1950s, the production of detail joins the projects for big works. The most notable being:: il Museo di Palazzo Bianco in Genova, il Museo del Castello in Milan, ilPiccolo Teatro, ships Andrea Doria, Michelangelo e Raffaello. A particularly significant installmen is the lighting project intitled ‘la nuvola’, for il Teatro Regio in Turin. At the end of 1973, the year in which he won la Medaglia d’Oro at the XV Triennale di Venezia, Gino Sarfattidecided to transfer the company to Flos, and retired to his home in Griante on Lake Como.

Photo Credits: Mauro Ballotta – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.