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Max Mara Unveils Permanent Artwork at Brand’s Milan Flagship

The Italian fashion brand, collaborating with the founding family’s contemporary art museum Collezione Maramotti, has unveiled a site-specific installation created by French artist Eva Jospin.

Eva Jospin's Microclima at the Milan Max Mara store. © MASIAR PASQUALI

MILAN Max Mara is making sure its flagship here is one of a kind.

The Italian fashion brand, collaborating with the founding family’s contemporary art museum Collezione Maramotti, on Tuesday unveiled a site-specific artwork created by French artist Eva Jospin and called “Microclima.”

Jospin created a metal glasshouse on the top floor of the store that is both intimate yet also in strict relation with the outdoors. The entrance of the boutique is on the central shopping street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, but the unit also overlooks Liberty Square, a key meeting point in the city, home to the Apple store, among others.

The glasshouse is inspired by late 19th-century conservatories, a period in which the Liberty style rose to fame — a reference to the square below. Jospin created a majestic and monochrome three-dimensional cardboard landscape en relief in the pavilion. Vegetal elements stand on a mineral substrate, vertical corks evoke exotic cacti, and tropical trees, stalagmites and fossils complete the installation.

“This is like a mental collage of a vision of nature,” said Jospin. “I like to work with this sense of illusion. We are growing a kind of nature that is entirely imaginary. And it’s a way to reclaim nature.”

Metallic yarns, ropes, acorn shells and small stones are also part of the work, leading to musings about the relationship of man with nature, contended Jospin.

An evening view of Microclima from the Liberty Square in Milan. Foto © Masiar Pasquali© MASIAR PASQUALI

To further deliver her message, Jospin worked with perfumer Julien Rasquinet of fragrance supplier IFF to develop a special essence for the artwork, which is reminiscent of the scents that can be wafting in a tropical greenhouse.

Jospin won a contest launched in 2019 by Max Mara, whose goal was to enhance the space within the flagship and to put it in relation with the Liberty square. “Microclima” offers “people in the store and in the square the opportunity to meet with art,” said Jospin, noting that the impact, colors and impressions of the installation change dramatically depending on the light. “You can see the buildings and the square through the work, which alters this view. And from the square, you can see ‘Microclima’.”


Asked about Max Mara’s guidelines or brief, she said the idea was to create “a work that, while conceived to be long-lasting, would show characteristics connected to the idea of impermanence. Inserted in an urban context the work should stimulate a reflection on a different perception of the natural, physical and poetic space.”

The Paris-born artist studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the French capital and this year staged there a personal exhibition. Other exhibits have taken place at London’s The Invisible Collection; at the Musée des impressionnismes in Giverny; at the Museum Pfalzgalerie, Kaiserslautern; at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, and at the Cour Carrée du Louvre in Paris, among others.

Collezione Maramotti is a collection and museum of contemporary art based in Reggio Emilia, near the Max Mara group’s headquarters, that opened to the public in 2007. The collection also has a sentimental value as it was initiated and built over the years by Max Mara founder Achille Maramotti, who died in 2005. Maramotti, who also collected art from the 16th and 17th centuries, passed his passion on to his children, Luigi, Ignazio and Maria Ludovica.


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