A choral and colorful project: graphic and lively - with unmistakably signature of Alessandro Mendini - and dynamic - how it can be just a bicycle.
Nemo Gravel Alessandro Mendini, is the artist's bicycle by Cinelli in a limited and numbered edition, sold exclusively online. Made in only 30 copies, it was born from a project conceived during the years of frequentation between the master Alessandro Mendini and Antonio Colombo, vice president and artistic director of the company in the cycling sector, as well as gallery owner, never come to light until today.
Mendini's daughters and recovery work from the archive
Thanks to the intervention of Mendini's daughters, Fulvia and Elisa, who inherited their father's archive and recovered his drawings, today a model of bicycle is born that makes the graphic sign a powerful and evocative visual language.
Serial craftsmanship and artistic stylistic features
The bicycle retains the features of Nemo Gravel’s limited edition serial craftsmanship and combines them with the designer's well-known stylistic touches, in this case its Stilema Tre, where simple and complex signs intertwine, leading to an endless source of visual alphabets, signs, colours and images.
Alessandro Mendini: signs as pre-linguistic elements with suspended meanings.
“We researched visual and literary handwriting styles, where alphabets converge in the development of real visual languages” write Alessandro Mendini in Stilemi in 2007. “As languages, each of these expressive systems is a closed game in itself and corresponds to precise rules. The stories and the letters of these ‘expressive alphabets’ should not be understood, however, as a symbolic construct where meanings are prefigured. On the contrary, the signs that help create the writing of the vision should be understood as pre-linguistic elements, not yet bound to specific meanings: their meanings are suspended, waiting for their destiny to assign them a function”.
The contact between Mendini and Cinelli over 1980s
The first collaborations between Cinelli and Mendini, approached through the Alchimia collective of which Mendini was a member, date back to the 1980s, when Antonio Colombo, who became the owner of the company, was designing the new course, in a direction oriented towards the union between sport, art, design and lifestyle to reach a wider audience than just cycling professionals and enthusiasts.
Mendini's (pure) expressive contribution
Starting with Alchimia, Mendini collaborated with Cinelli on the decoration of the frame of a bicycle, on a bicycle made into a sculpture through the extension of its tubes, and on the retouching of a photograph of an athlete during a race: all these were abstract collaborations, unrelated to the technical and competitive aspects of cycling, in which the elements of the bicycles represented pure expression.
Artist collaborations, from Alchima to the Cinelli Art Program
Since the 1980s, therefore, Antonio Colombo's vision, based on the union between technical innovation, culture and play, has created fertile ground for projects in collaboration with Alchimia, such as the Supercorsa by Alessandro Guerriero, the Rampichino by Alessandro Mendini, handlebar tapes and cycling clothing by Carla Ceccariglia , and with other artists and designers from which, among others, the Cinelli logo designed by Italo Lupi, the Laser bicycle by Keith Haring and the single-brand Gran Ciclismo stores designed by Franco were born Raggi up to the current activities within the Cinelli Art Program.