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Design critics

“Citazioni Pratiche, Fornasetti a Palazzo Altemps”

Unmissable exhibition!

Palazzo Altemps will host the exhibition “Citazioni Pratiche, Fornasetti a Palazzo Altemps” from December 16th 2017 to May 6th 2018 celebrating one of the most imaginative characters of the last century and also celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Museum for its opening to the public. The exhibition originates from a reflection by Barnaba Fornasetti, artistic director of the Atelier Fornasetti, and Valeria Manzi, consultant for cultural projects, on a comparison between ancient, modern and contemporary. The curatorship is by Silvana Annicchiarico, Director of the Triennale Design Museum, and Alessandra Capodiferro, Head of the Palazzo Altemps Museum.

Fornasetti was an important exponent of Italian culture about industrial design. He created one of the largest productions of objects and furniture of the twentieth century especially for the variety of decorations. The main feature in his work was rigor combined with imagination and a veiled dose of humor.

Piero Fornasetti was born in Milan at the beginning of the last century. The young man enrolled, against his father’s wishes, at the Brera Academy, but he will soon leave, too limited and traditional for his eclectic spirit. Close to the Second World War, Fornasetti presents his design to the world, combining simple objects with surreal images to a surreal design that also struck Gio Ponti with whom will be established an almost symbiotic relationship that will give life to numerous collaborations and projects: the scarves of silk, the almanacs, the Trumeau Architettura, the covers of DOMUS. A woman, Lina Cavalieri, an opera singer, will fascinate Fornasetti so much that he can no longer do without representing her in her accomplishments, from 1952 he will begin to paint her face and will never stop.

After the triumph of rationalism of the ’70s, the function takes the upper hand over form and consequently decorum, a key element in the Fornasetti production, is seen as a futile accessory. Fornasetti and his rebellious spirit reject this situation and in response of it he founded the “Galleria dei Bibliofili, where he reunites the rebellious and offbeat personalities like him. In 1950 his son Barnaba will be born, with him after the economic crisis in the 80s, they will lead to the rebirth of Fornasetti. The culmination of the rebirth came in 1992 when the Victoria and Albert Museum organized the first posthumous international exhibition of Fornasetti.

An exhibition in which the themes of classic, ruins and antiquities alternate and coexist with the creations born of the unbridled imagination and the surrealistic invention of Fornasetti. The exhibition will be characterized, starting from the courtyard and continuing room after room, from thirty-six artistic incursions made by over eight hundred pieces signed by Fornasetti, in which the Atelier itself proposes its imaginative and surreal accessories, furnishings and designs from the 1930s to today fully representing, once again, what the founder affirmed: “an invitation to imagination, to think”.

Don’t miss it!