1922 – 2007
Dino Gavina’s extraordinary adventure started when he opened a tapestry workshop in Bologna located in Via Castiglione and where in the first years after the Second World War – compelled to use salvage materials for military and railway supplies – right in his workshop he started producing and marketing his first furnitures.
Interested and fond in literature, visual arts and theatre; we’d say: “he travelled and met people”, but he seizes the genius and the chance to create things and characters: this is Dino Gavina’s creative blend. Indefatigable director of people, things, events arising from his imagination, a continuously moving vortex that crowned all his life. Meetings with personalities, who sometimes he personally created. He stroke up a beautiful friendship with Lucio Fontana. He was in Milan and on the occasion of the 10th Triennale Exhibition he met the Castiglioni brothers; in 1957 at the 11th Triennale he met Kazuhide Takahama, who set up the Japan exhibition booth; in Venice he had met Carlo Scarpa, who in 1960 became the President of Gavina spa, the company where Tobia’s first pieces – Scarpa’s son – were then produced … a life punctuated by extraordinary characters.
The shop Gavina designed by Carlo Scarpa in Via Altabella in Bologna, the extraordinary Castiglionis’ show-room in San Lazzaro, still admirable modern architectures, were the venues where the memorable evenings of Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp took place. San Lazzaro was the location where in 1967 the Duchamp Center was born, as a tribute to him, where future kinetic artists alongside the great masters worked together, an art project made in series for new users. Long is the list of artists, whom Dino Gavina collaborated with; he dealt with a myriad of worlds, as this is his polyhedral side. His companies – Gavina, Flos, Simon, Sirrah, Paradisoterrestre – are well-known: his passion to create furniture and lamps, his indoors and outdoors architecture and last but not least his strict line in industrial design which partly owes to him the opening of new horizons.
Ilka Alessandra Gavina