MILAN DESIGN WEEK 2021 - SUPERSTUDIO PIU’
THE COMMENT. THE PLACES OF ART
To Ettore Mocchetti, historical director (for forty years!) Of AD, the prestigious magazine of the Italian Condé Nast, the task of introducing the presence of the Oblong gallery and its artists at Superstudio with the exhibition "Surprise! Art tells ", of which he is the curator.
When Emanuela Venturini and Paola Marucci, volcanic owners of Oblong Contemporary Art Gallery with Art Galleries in Dubai and Forte dei Marmi, approached me and asked me to take care of Superstudio Più during the days of the next Fuorisalone taking place in Milan - in this period, I would rather call it “The Recovery” Salone - an exhibition of contemporary sculpture and painting, I immediately asked myself: why me? Is it because of the friendship that has binded us for so many years. Or is there more, maybe some of my concepts of interior design conceived (also) as a "stage for the arts"? And then, why a display of artists of the caliber of Stefano Bombardieri and Flavio Lucchini, to name just a few, who act as a precious corollary of a great event entirely focused on furniture design? I thought about it a lot and in the end I think I found a convincing answer (at least for me) in a debate by Gisella Borioli, founder with her husband, the brilliant Flavio Lucchini, and deus ex-machina of Superstudio Più. I read about it in an interview with her some time ago. She said more or less like this: "In recent years, we have witnessed a gradual change of paradigm in the communication of design, in which the concepts of contamination between different disciplines and arts, and the idea of emotion have become more and more central". This is the “contamination”, a vision familiar to me that I have theorized on several occasions, especially, when applied to the mood that oversees the “High Decoration” of the last few decades. AD-Architectural Digest, of which I was director at the time, had even foretold this “contamination” as early as 1999, announcing it as a possible future vision in the credits of its special AD Millenium issue. This particular issue was telling about our century in a 360 degree view. On the other hand, the idea was not my invention or ours, it was based on a reinterpretation of the great past of the Italian aristocratic palaces and the big bourgeois. It was, or better, it is the manifestation of a syncretic feeling of living that now resurfaces to remind us of the visions and writings of “Gio Ponti di Stile”, the magazine he founded in 1941, or the contemporary Milanese interiors of Franco Albini and Guglielmo Ulrich. Thus the meaning of the task entrusted to me by Emanuela and Paola has finally become clear to me: Art as a privileged interlocutor of décor. To exhibit under the title “Sorpresa! L’Arte racconta ", also means imagining the artists all as possible, probable protagonists of an ideal domestic landscape, true and at the same time visionary, it also means projecting them mentally as points of attention to animate our daily life with continuous surprise, otherwise destined to die out in the routine. In an irrational anti-museum modus, we can find the tortuous, informal chromatic overlaps of Manu Alguerò; the wrinkled and colored walls extracted from a timeless periphery by Mario Arlati; the abstract, vibrant three-dimensional tensions and twists of Pablo Atchugarry; the crumpled , allusive and elusive metallic surfaces by Tiziana Lorenzelli; the candid, sensual reliefs by Flavio Lucchini stylized in the solid asperities of the material - by the way the FlavioLucchiniArt Museum opens at the same time at Superstudio Più -, the artist armchair of the designers Paolo Nava and Luca Arosio. We also find Antonio Signorini's plastic Hellenizing figures, Gustavo Vélez's soft volumes, and, above all, Stefano Bombardieri's imaginative, fabulous 3D bestiary. With this perspective, the exhibition staged at the MyOwnGallery of Superstudio Più from the 4th to the 14th of September is not a simple celebration of an intelligent and refined art, in the presence of artists with different sensibilities united however by a very shrewd know-how. It is rather the suggestive representation of the main ingredient of decorative contamination, that is the true artistic emotion. Moreover, all this should not be surprising since the concept of contamination is in the history and genes of Superstudio Più, conceived as an aesthetic frontier where art, design, photography, fashion and everything that can be considered cultural meet and integrate. And the same, after all, is true for me.