Enzo Mari and Lea Vergine

Enzo Mari and his wife Lea Vergine died of "complications related to Covid-19"

Italian curator and art critic Lea Vergine has died just a day after the death of her husband, Italian designer Enzo Mari, with the couple joining the growing list of iconic figures from architecture and design lost to coronavirus.

Legendary Italian designer Mari and his wife, art critic Vergine, both died of complications relating to coronavirus, according to Italian press reports.

Mari and Vergine hospitalised for Covid-related conditions

The Italian couple died just hours apart, with Mari passing away on 19 October aged 88 and Vergine passing on 20 October aged 82.

Milanese newspaper Corriere della Sera said that Mari and Vergine had both been admitted to the San Raffaele hospital in the city with Covid-related conditions.

"One day after the death of her husband, Enzo Mari, the curator and art critic Lea Vergine died in Milan, the newspaper wrote.

"The two were hospitalised at the San Raffaele hospital for complications related to Covid-19."

Kenzo Taka and Michael Sorkin died of coronavirus

The news comes just two weeks after Japanese fashion designer Takada died of the virus at the age of 88.

Other leading lights of the design world struck down by the virus include American architecture critic Michael Sorkin, Arper founder Luigi Feltrin, Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti, American architect Michael McKinnell, Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi, French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro and Dominican fashion designer Jenny Polanco.

Art critic Vergine published a memoir in 2016

Vergine was born in Naples in March 1936 and met Mari in the city in the 1960s before relocating to Milan together.

She worked regularly for Italian newspapers including Il Manifesto and Il Corriere della Sera and published a number of books including Body art e storie simili: il corpo come linguaggio (Body art and similar stories: the body as a language), L'altra metà dell'avanguardia (The other half of the avant-garde) and La vita, forse l'arte (Life, maybe art).

In 2016 she published a memoir of her career called L'arte non è faccenda di persona perbene, which translates as Art is not the business of a decent person.

Mari was a "towering figure"

Milanese architect Stefano Boeri described Enzo Mari as "a towering figure in Italian and international art culture" while writer and critic Alice Rawsthorn described the late designer as "one of the most gifted, original and uncompromising designers and design activists of our time.".

The photo of Mari and Vergine is by Giuseppe Varchetta.