The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D90.201.1
This stool cantilevers a tractor seat on a strap steel support, and the introduction of an industrial farm implement into everyday use reflects the Castiglioni’s wit in translating a rural object to a modern setting. Zanotta’s advertising shows a woman happily balanced in a few positions on the seat.
Mezzadro means “tenant farmer,” and the appropriation reminds one of Dada provocations of the early part of the century, such as Duchamp’s presentation of a urinal as an artwork. There was a gap of more than a dozen years between the date of design and the start of production in 1970—a period when radical Italian design was accepting of such fantasies.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Denis Farley.