Current Exhibits

a headshot of Massimo Vignelli

Vignellis at Home: Photographs by Gary Hustwit

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In 2013, filmmaker and photographer Gary Hustwit spent the day photographing Massimo and Lella Vignelli at their home studio in Manhattan. “I didn’t have any idea what I’d do with the images. But I wanted to try to capture the feeling of being in that place, with the two of them, at that point in their lives.” Vignelli passed away in 2014. Now Hustwit published a selection of those images in Vignelli: Photographs, a small-format hardcover book. Publication available here.

"Massimo Vignelli had a huge impact on my life and career. In 2005 he was the first designer I approached to be in my first film, Helvetica, and he was also the first on-camera interview I ever conducted. In a way, he helped launch my career as a filmmaker. I’m lucky that I was able to spend a lot of time with him and his wife Lella, who was his partner in life and design. Together they had a career that spanned over fifty years and almost as many disciplines: graphic design, product design, corporate identity, wayfinding, installations, architecture, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and so much more.

In May of 2013, I was getting more interested in still photography, and frankly I just wanted willing subjects I could photograph in order to get better at it. I thought about interesting people I knew in New York who might let me spend the day with them and be photographed, so I emailed Massimo and he graciously agreed. I arrived at the Vignelli’s apartment on the Upper East Side, where they’d lived for over 30 years. My main goal was to try to capture what it felt like being in that space with them at that point in their lives. Massimo always said a designer should be able to design everything “from a spoon to a city,” so nearly everything in the house was designed by them... the furniture, lighting, vases, dishes, cutlery. I spent hours photographing the contents of their bookshelves, their kitchen, everything.

I’m not sure why I’m obsessed with the little details in people’s homes and studios. The contents of a cupboard, or the variety of books and mementos sitting on a shelf. I think examining those details is just an easy way to glean more information about someone, what they love, why they do what they do. I find that I spend a lot of time in my films focusing on those details. I took over 400 photographs that day, and didn’t really have plans to do anything with them. But as the years passed, I saw these images as a kind of time capsule, a document of a day in the life of two incredible people I admired, who were no longer with us. Looking at these images now, I’m struck by the range and brilliance of their design careers, and by their undying love for each other.
Sometimes a camera can capture a moment, or a sense of place, but it’s impossible to sum up two lives with a handful of images taken in one day. I’m grateful that the Vignelli’s invited me into their home to make these photographs, and I hope that their work, influence, and memory will continue to live on". - Gary Hustwit

a view inside an artist studio with a wall of windows on the right and two people sitting at a black table.
containers holding drawing and painting impliments - colorful pencils and paint brushes.
a close up of a shelf with books.
an open book with an image of Lella and Massimo Vignelli on the left
									 a hand with rings on the right page.
a bright red designer rocking chair on a porch.

Vignelli's Final Chair: Manufactured by Heller

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The final chair by Italian designers Lella and Massimo Vignelli, the iconic Vignelli Rocker is back in production and ready to be enjoyed in homes and businesses, indoors and out. The Vignelli Rocker – perhaps more than any other piece that Lella and Massimo designed – is the ideal combination of clarity and surprise. Its fluid curves create the cleanly defined, sculptural shape of an armchair, but when you interact with it, you realize it’s so much more. The subtle architecture of its base allows this rocker to gently oscillate, creating a soothing motion for the sitter. Made in USA, this modern indoor-outdoor rocker has a matte finish and is available in a choice of three colors.

Since 1971, Heller has worked with some of the world’s finest designers. Heller products are beautiful and timeless. Used by leading architects for museums, offices, and restaurants as well as homes. Perfect for indoors and outdoors. Manufactured in the USA. Recyclable. Industrially produced and ready to ship.

For over 50 years, Heller has offered leading designers the opportunity to work with new technologies to create innovative products. Heller continues to explore new processes for manufacturing furniture. Incorporated in 1971, Heller’s first product was a line of stacking dinnerware designed by Massimo Vignelli. Winner of a Compasso d’Oro award in Italy, it is included in the Museum of Modern Art permanent design collection, New York.

a photograph of two arms - one wearing a white sleeve and the other a black sleeve. Each hand wearing a large silver ring.

Lella Vignelli's Jewelry for San Lorenzo: Photographs by Julia Abbonizio

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Since its foundation in Milano in 1970, San Lorenzo has distinguished itself by working with internationally renowned designers and architects, including collaborations with Lella Vignelli. Lella worked with San Lorenzo from 1970 designing many timeless silver jewelry pieces. These pieces include the fluid and charming Senza Fine necklace, which featured the ability to create many different configurations, each suiting a different occasion or dress requirement, as well as the necklace Seicento, a refined modern sort of Elizabethan collar inspired by her admiration for those ruff collars of the 1600s, among other pieces.

"Lella’s work displays her sense of pragmatism, with a focus on creating modern yet classic-feeling objects that are “timeless, not trendy.”
Lella’s work, and her life, has been a fantastic blend of logic and playfulness, spirit and pragmatism, down-to- earth logic and idealistic vision". - Massimo Vignelli

Julia Abbonizio is a graduate of RIT’s Advertising Photography program. Her photographic work is inspired by notions of performance and surrealism, delivered with elegance and curiosity. Abbonizio’s
imagery expands beyond the photographic medium. From events and commercial advertising to commissions and personal work, she focuses on art direction and styling to create unparalleled spaces and experiences. “From it’s conception, the goal of the project was to capture the timeless allure of Lella’s designs so that they can live on with every new generation. I was honored to have the opportunity to illustrate these pieces through my own personal vision. Creating spaces that are nondescript and introspective was integral to the vision and allows the jewelry to speak for itself. I was inspired by the different forms that the pieces assume and wanted to mirror that versatility by depicting them on a variety of models. Each brings their own air of individuality and style which honors that of the Vignelli legacy. I hope you are inspired by my interpretation of the elegance, sophistication, and simplicity that truly makes these pieces shine.” - Julia Abbonizio

a photograpoh of a woman wearing a long black dress elegantly lounging on a white block arrangement.
a close up of a woman's shoulder
									 hand and lower jaw line.
a close up photograph of a woman's face with the arm crooked upward wearing a large silver ring.
a photographic close up of a forearm wearing a silver snake-like wrap bracelet.
a photograph of interwrapped arms wearing silever rings.
a photographic close up of a woman's face tilting to the side with a large silver necklace.

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