Sottobosco chestnut leaf coffee table 2005, Cast, polished aluminum 15 x 36 in.

Sottobosco chestnut leaf coffee table

2005, Cast, polished aluminum

15 x 36 in.

Andrea Salvetti

This delicate and diminutive cast aluminum low table is covered with a chestnut leaf pattern. The chair’s back and seat show off the leaves and vines of ivy. The two pieces are part of Andrea Salvetti’s larger series of furnishings with cast patterns of tree leaves, ferns, and pine needles. Their collective title “Sottobosco” translates to undergrowth – that panoply of flora found under a forest’s canopy. As the textured surfaces of the table and the chair reflect the gallery lights, one can imagine the same effect of dappled light as it filters through leaves in the woods.

Here, Salvetti has taken natural forms off of the ground and trees in order to incorporate their organic forms into a decidedly unnatural metal structure. This is typical of his working method. Salvetti often uses nature as the point of departure for his design work. He creates fanciful couches and chairs whose forms suggest animals or birds’ nests. He welds floral shapes together to form domed sculptures whose interiors offer a shaded respite from the world. They reference both an animal’s hideaway and the architectural forms of Italy’s past. This makes sense for a sculptor well schooled in his nation’s history of beautiful design.

Andrea Salvetti was born in 1967 in Bozzano Luca, Italy. He studied architecture at the University of Florence. The son of a farmer, Salvetti is based in the Tuscan countryside near Luca where he and his wife run a vacation farmhouse. In addition to his design work and large-scale outdoor sculptural installations, Salvetti also incorporates his love of food and cooking into public performance events where aesthetically appealing objects become culinary treats.