Discovering, Crossing, Creating. Nina Yashar believes in valuing design to tell stories.
She founded Nilufar Gallery in Milan in 1979. Originally located in via Bigli and specialized in antique carpets, a passion she inherited from her Iranian parents, the Gallery soon launched a series of pioneering shows, including “La rosa nel tappeto” (The rose on the carpet) – a study on the iconography of the rose motif in rugs – while bringing both Oriental and European carpets, such as Kilim, Gabbeh and Aubusson varieties, into the Italian and international spotlight.
By the end of the Nineties, the Gallery, now located in via della Spiga, ventured into modern and contemporary furniture, showcasing the work of midcentury masters alongside unusual carpets, cuttingedge furniture and emerging designers’ pieces.
In 1998, the groundbreaking exhibition “Tappeti svedesi e mobili scandinavi” (Swedish rugs and Scandinavian furniture) presented the work of Alvar Aalto, Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen, while introducing for the first time the recurring theme of juxtaposition of furniture and rugs.
In 1999, the Gallery expanded its headquarters in via della Spiga with a project lead by Italian designer GianCarlo Montebello. The first decade of the new century witnessed a series of experimentations and contamination which strengthened the Gallery’s reputation of reference point to historical and contemporary design lovers. From the silicone carpets by Gaetano Pesce to the rediscovery of Paul Evans’ work and Martino Gamper’s re-appropriation of Gio Ponti’s furniture for the Hotel Parco dei Principi at the 2007 Design Miami/Basel, the Gallery’s work and research resulted in a series of unique and sensational exhibitions, often accompanied by monographic catalogues that have acquired, over the years, cult status amongst collectors, design enthusiasts and researchers.
In 2018, on the occasion of Milano Design Week, Nilufar Gallery launched the first episode of ‘Chez Nina’, after Yashar’s longtime dream of opening a convivial space. Hidden on the upper floor of Nilufar Gallery, it was designed by critical acclaimed interior designer India Mahdavi.
In 2015, in a building that once housed a silverware factory, Nina Yashar opened Nilufar Depot. Located in viale Lancetti (Milan), this wide space of 1,500 square meters, arranged over three levels with a layout inspired by the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and renovated by Italian architect Massimiliano Locatelli, seats part of Yashar’s extensive design collection, in an atmosphere allowing contemporary design to find a harmonious connection with iconic pieces of historical design.
In 2018, on the occasion of the Milano Design Week, Nilufar Depot presented “Lina Bo Bardi Giancarlo Palanti Studio d’Arte Palma 1948 – 1951”, a homage to the Italy-born, Brazil-naturalized designer. The exhibition, devoted to one of the most revolutionary figures of modern architecture, was the result of a long historiographic investigation by Yashar, realized with the patronage and scientific collaboration of Instituto Bardi / Casa de Vidro - San Paolo.
2019 has been the year of “Far”, an experimental project and a journey into the work of 10 emerging designers, curated by Studio Vedèt and set up by Space Caviar.
During the years, Nilufar Gallery has taken part in several international fairs, including Pavillon des Arts et du Design (PAD) in Paris and London, TEFAF New York, Design Miami/Basel and The Salon ART+DESIGN in New York. Furthermore, since 2012, the Gallery has launched SQUAT, an itinerant and inter-disciplinary project aimed at broadening the horizons of the typical exhibition concept, while exploring new cultural, geographical and architectural territories.
Via della Spiga, 32
Viale Vincenzo Lancetti, 34