Carpet design

Venice airport transformed into a design fair

The Nilufar gallery in Milan organized two exhibitions inside the private airport Giovanni Nicelli, located on the Lido of Venice. Opening at the same time as this year’s Venice Biennale, the first of two exhibitions combines a selection of historic design pieces with collections from current designers. A second is dedicated to the ceramic artist Sin Ying Cassandra Ho, marking the first exhibition of works by the artist in Europe.

Nina Yashar, founder of Nilufar Gallery, was brought on board to create the exhibitions by the airport’s curatorial team – Stefano Rampinelli and Laura Alfieri – to promote the artistic offering of Venice Lido. The exhibit that occupies the arrivals and departures hall of the 1920s building is typical of Yashar’s style: a balanced blend of historic and contemporary design that combine to create a timeless aesthetic. Works by icons such as Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Ignazio Moncada, Pietro Consagra and Angelo Lelii sit alongside works by Martino Gamper, Draga and Aurel and Analogia Projects.

Bold rugs from Italian firm Besana Carpet Lab frame the furnishings, with bold colors contrasting with the timeless interiors originally designed by Giovanni Nei Pasinett. The airport’s existing features remain intact – paintings commissioned by futuristic artist Tato hang alongside fixtures and fittings, which were designed by architect Mario Emmer.

“I’ve always wanted a traveling approach, bringing and moving artifacts with their stories around the world,” Yashar said. “Doing it in Venice, and more specifically in the context of the Lido, is an unprecedented gift. I have a strong connection with this enchanting city, so I am more than happy to organize a selection that reflects its interculturality.

In “Spazio Esso”, the airport’s former fuel dispensing space, Yashar co-curated an exhibition of works by ceramic artist Sin Ying Cassandra Ho alongside ArtHub titled “Constructed Realities: The life beyond borders”. Ho’s ceramic work combines European and Chinese elements, in reference to his experience of living in multicultural cities around the world. She combines historical decorative motifs and contemporary imagery, which come together to tell stories of her personal journey.

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