From humble beginnings as a purely functional invention, the corkscrew has since evolved into something of an object d’art. In the hands of some of the world’s top designers, this necessary tool for uncorking a bottle has been transformed into a desirable object – one that is just as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical.
The ultimate examples of this come from the late, great Alessandro Mendini, who sadly passed last year. Released by renowned Italian Design homeware company, Alessi, the famous Anna G. and Alessandro M. corkscrews, and the more recent Parrot sommelier-style corkscrew, illustrate Mendini’s unique vision and ability to elevate the commonplace. First produced in 1994, the Anna G. has become popular all around the globe, with more than 1.7 million units sold to date.
Alessandro Mendini’s Masterpiece
Known for his playful sensibilities and unabashed love of color, Mendini was able to take familiar household objects and turn them into whimsical creatures, or figures, without sacrificing an ounce of function. For one of his first corkscrew projects, he drew a curvaceous ballerina with a long, graceful neck and smiling face. In his sketch, he recognized a strong resemblance to his friend and fellow designer, Anna Gili. Ultimately, she would become the inspiration for the final design of the Anna G. corkscrew, also lending her name to the now iconic piece. Mendini later followed up the Anna G. with the Alessandro M. corkscrew; a self-portrait of sorts with the designer’s likeness wearing a hat and a friendly smile.
Mendini once described himself as a “novelist who writes on objects,” using his own unique visual vocabulary to convey meaning, emotion, narrative and more. Through his highly individual language of aesthetics, geometry and color, he was able to communicate directly with the audience, be it consumers, or those working in or visiting one of his architectural creations. With individual names and human-like features, his Anna G. and Alessandro M. corkscrews tell their own stories and connect with users in a way that is consistent with Mendini’s philosophy as a designer and artist.
A seminal figure whose influence will be felt for years to come, Alessandro Mendini was at the center of the 1960s’ radical design movement, and later became a leading voice in the postmodern movement. He departed this life on February 18th, 2019, aged 87, leaving an indelible mark on the world with a catalog of sublime works spanning architecture, industrial design and illustration.
Alessandro Mendini and LG SIGNATURE
A brand that shares the late designer’s joy of combining art, design and functionality, LG SIGNATURE is celebrating Mendini’s extraordinary legacy with an exclusive, limited-edition Alessandro M. corkscrew. The design for the corkscrew was hand-drawn by Mendini whilst collaborating with the high-end appliance maker the year before his passing.
Mendini’s belief in extending the meaning of utilitarian objects through creative and artistic means, and LG SIGNATURE’s desire to provide an exceptional lifestyle via meaningful innovation and timeless design, coalesce in the special edition Alessandro M. corkscrew. The luxury brand has stayed true to the essence of Mendini’s original sketch, enabling the final product to bear the unmistakable brilliance of one of modern design’s true greats.
Mendini made the drawing in 2018, when he was serving as director of the LG SIGNATURE ARTWEEK exhibition. “The moment I saw LG SIGNATURE products, I sensed that the brand strives for harmony between function and design to the extreme,” he said at the time, noting the similarities between his and LG SIGNATURE’s perspective on what makes good design.
By bringing the sketch to life in the form of the exclusive Alessandro M. corkscrew, the brand is honoring an undisputed master and proudly sharing his genius for innovation with discerning consumers the world over.
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