Multidisciplinary Italian artist-designer Anna Gili was born in the city of Orvieto in Umbria in 1960. She studied design in Florence at the Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche (I.S.I.A.), graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1984. She began presenting art performances in 1984, and established her eponymous studio in Milan in 1985. Gili’s research-driven work ranges from performance art and fashion to architecture, interiors, and industrial design, often expertly combining disciplines. Her furniture and interior design clients include the likes of Alessi, Bisazza, Swarovski, Cassina, Cappellini, Seoul Art Center, and others.
Gili’s believes that objects should be filled with symbolism and spirit, allowing us to maintain ties with the world at large, our own histories, and our imaginations. Her colorful work often incorporates her fascination with both the avant-garde and the zoomorphic. Standout projects include, among others: the 1984 performance piece, Abito Sonoro (Sonorous Garment); the 1986 performance, Persone Dipinte (Painted Persons); Tonda armchair (1991); a number of blown glass vase collections made for the Murano glassmaker Salviati (1992-2010); Wonderloft, (2005); the book Animalove (2014); as well as the playfully zoomorphic PETit Table series (2014). Notably, Mendini’s iconic Anna G. Corkscrew for Alessi is named for Gili.
Beyond her own creative endeavors, Gili is a dedicated educator. From 1991 to 1996, she taught design at the New Academy of Fine Arts of Milan. From 2003 to 2012, she taught design at the Academy of Fine Arts of Verona. She has also served as an adjunct professor of design at the Polytechnic of Milan since 2006, and as a professor of design at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera since 2007.
Gili’s work is included in the permanent collections of Denver Art Museum, Milan’s Triennale Design Museum, and Venice Glass Museum. Over the years, she has participated in several solo and group exhibitions at esteemed locations in Italy and abroad, including, but not limited to: Galleria Kaess Weiss in Stuttgart, Museum Alchimya in Milan, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Übersee-Museum Bremen in Germany, Pavilion of Contemporary Art (PAC) in Milan, Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), and Seoul Arts Center Museum. In 2012, she was honored with the Granddesignetico International Award.