Utopia

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Open: Tue-Fri 10.30am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-7pm

Passage de Retz, 9 rue Charlot, 75003, Paris, France
Open: Tue-Fri 10.30am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-7pm


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Utopia

Paris

Utopia
to Sat 21 Dec 2019
Tue-Fri 10.30am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-7pm

“Utopia is simply what has not been tried yet”
– Theodore Monod, explorer

Tornabuoni Art presents “Utopia”, a carte blanche given to the architect and designer Charles Zana.

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Continuing its program of collective exhibitions devoted to the Italian cultural panorama from the 1950s to the 1980s, Tornabuoni Art will be the stage of an imaginary dialogue between artists and designers who, despite their different upbringings, ambitions and conceptual investigations, remain connected by creative synergies. It is particularly interesting to observe the creative pollination between art and design during this fundamental period in the Italian art history, as artists, beyond their field of work, tried to create new worlds on the ashes of the old, with a visionary optimism in futuristic modernity that remains influential today.
– Francesca Piccolboni, Director

To coincide with the opening of the FIAC 2019, the architect Charles Zana and Tornabuoni Art inaugurate ‘Utopia’, an exhibition that creates connections between post-war Italian art and design.

This exhibition, designed and conceived by the architect Charles Zana in collaboration with Tornabuoni Art, is based on the idea of dialogue, like previous exhibitions designed by the architect. This dialogue unfolds room by room in the show, whose name is inspired by the ‘Utopia’ lamp created by the architect Nanda Vigo in 1970. This iconic lamp – shaped like a frame – transforms the empty space at its heart into a picture made of light.

“In ‘Utopia’ I want to show how the different Italian avant-garde movements disrupted the history of art and design in the 20th century,” says Zana. “This incredible creative effervescence of artists and architects in the aftermath of World War II gave birth to visionary forms that had never been seen before and I dreamed of this as utopia.” Through around forty pairings of works of art and design, where furniture, painting and sculpture will be in dialogue, ‘Utopia’ offers an original exploration of the relationships between the greatest Italian artists and architects from the 1950s to the 1970s to reveal the common aspirations and experimental spirit of this visionary generation who sought to reimagine Italy in the decades following the War.

Zana transforms Tornabuoni Art’s historic Paris townhouse into a series of intimate salons that create art and design “couples”. His mise-en-scene creates imaginary scenarios, asking questions such as ‘What if Giorgio De Chirico and Ettore Sottsass spoke the same metaphysical language? Did Lucio Fontana and Carlo Mollino share a similar quest for the absolute?’

‘Utopia’ brings to light for the first time the links between many artists and designers: Gino Sarfatti and Paolo Scheggi, Carlo Scarpa and Dadamaino, Enrico Castellani and Nanda Vigo, Michele de Lucchi and Alberto Burri, to name a few. Mario Ceroli will have a room dedicated to its art, at the frontier at the two disciplines.

Whether they are linked by a similar vision of time, a concern for the role of man in nature and space, or a shared poetic vocabulary that connects the profane and the sacred, these pairs of Italian architects and artists in this exhibition will reveal their extraordinary ability to disrupt the boundaries between art and design.

‘Utopia’ is accompanied by an original publication with essays by Charles Zana and by the art historian Dr. Flavia Frigeri.

The pairs of artists and architects/designers in ‘Utopia’ include:
SUPERSTUDIO – PIERO MANZONI
BRUNO MUNARI – TANO FESTA
NANDA VIGO – LUCIO FONTANA
GINO SARFATTI – ENRICO CASTELLANI
ETTORE SOTTSASS – GIANNI COLOMBO
CARLO MOLLINO – GIORGIO DE CHIRICO
ALESSANDRO MENDINI – DADAMAINO
LAPO BINAZZI – MICHELANGELO PISTOLETTO
ENZO MARI – PAOLO SCHEGGI
ANDREA BRANZI – PIER PAOLO CALZOLARI
CARLO SCARPA – ALIGHIERO BOETTI
GAETANO PESCE – MIMMO PALADINO
MICHELE DE LUCCHI – MARIO SCHIFANO
ARCHIZOOM – MIMMO ROTELLA
MEMPHIS – ARNALDO POMODORO
MARIO CEROLI – ALBERTO BURRI
GIO PONTI

Courtesy of Tornabuoni Art

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