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19 July 2014

Cretto di Gibellina - Iniziano le celebrazioni per il centenario della nascita del suo autore




Cretto di Gibellina



L'opera "Land Art" di Alberto Burri
è stata creata nel 1984 sulle rovine della città




Iniziano le celebrazioni 
per il centenario della nascita del suo autore


Da oggi al 2016 a Città di Castello, città natale di Alberto Burri, autore del Cretto di Gibellina, avvia i festeggiamenti per commemorare il centenario della sua nascita (12 marzo 1915), con un fitto calendario di iniziative, che dureranno fino all'estate del 2016. 
Il Presidente della Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Bruno Corà, ne ha fatto l'elenco con il ministro Dario Franceschini. Tra l'altro il 15 ottobre verrà inaugurata la grande retrospettiva al Guggenheim di New York, al termine della quale verrà trasferita a Città di Castello, nel 2016.

Il "Cretto" è una opera monumentale. Essa ha lasciato un profondo segno di memoria e di meditazione. Il suo messaggio è profondamente radicato in una terra di confine, di desolazione e di miseria, che cerca riscatto nell'uso più sapiente delle sue risorse nell'equlibrato assetto tra quanto esse offrano e la lungimiranza della sua gente.

Nell'arte essa ha colto stimoli importanti, specialmente dall'opera di Arnaldo Pomodoro, che, come lui ha scelto di solcare in Umbria una intera montagna per insediarvi un cimitero, ed ha anche lasciato tracce di grande rilievo, nella in terpretazione dell'umana sofferenza, nelle successive opere di Daniel Liberskind per il Museo Ebraico e di Peter Eisenman per il Memoriale dell'Olocausto, entrambe a Berlino.





In programma per le celebrazioni del centenario della nascita di Alberto Burri, l'opera realizzata al Parco Sempione di Milano nel 1973, il "Teatro Continuo", smantellata nel 1989,  verrà ripristinata. 
Inoltre in Sicilia, a Gibellina,  è previsto il completamento, secondo il progetto originale, del Cretto, l'opera di "land art" che più di ogni altra lo ha reso famoso nel mondo. La cittadina di Gibellina fu completamente distrutta del terremoto nel 1968. Sui suoi ruderi Burri avviò il suo lavoro più impegnativo, realizzandovi una parte del Cretto, che ora si intende completare. In calendario molte mostre, convegni, conferenze ricorderanno la sua opera.



 

 Qui sopra la cittadina di Gibellina, in una immagine aerea scattata dopo il terremoto del 1968



Inoltre, in sei volumi, verrà pubblicato il catalogo generale delle sue opere, la cui uscita è stata annunciata per il 2015.

Enrico Mercatali
19 luglio 2014
(a Eli)




05 July 2014

Gino Sarfatti, creator of light and designer-entrepreneur






Creator of light and designer entrepreneur
(Venice 1912, Gravedona 1985)



A successful idea of Gino Sarfatti was to place a glass ball inside a circular frame of slightly smaller circumference. This extremely simple and banal idea was a big hit, as it is shown in the pictures below. Huge quantities of these wall and ceiling lamps were sold between the 60’s and 80’s.
Chandeliers born from the “glass ball” idea. Countless variations could be applied to this system, as Carlo Mollino proved in the set-up he made for the Teatro Regio of Turin, called “Nuvole di luce” (“Clouds of light”), in collaboration with Gino Sarfatti.


On the occasion of the centenary of Gino Sarfatti’s birth, the museum Triennale Milano exhibited 200 of the over 600 objects produced by Arteluce, the company founded by Gino Sarfatti in 1939, and mostly designed by him until 1937, when the company was transferred to Flos. A rich catalogue was also produced and printed.


Gino Sarfatti, chandelier 2095/12 hanging in the centre of a spiral staircase designed by Giovanni Muzio; in the background, the Torre Littoria designed by Gio Ponti, on the occasion of the exhibition organized by Triennale.


A brilliant creative-entrepreneur from Venice, Gino Sarfatti worked mainly in Milan and he obtained the highest award for design (Compasso d’Oro award) twice: in 1954, with model 559 of Arteluce catalogue, in 1955 with model 1055/S.




The latter was the first-ever disassembled lamp, sold in a box with the complete assembly kit, making both the product and its package design objects: this formula became widely appreciated.




Gino Sarfatti’s life was always innovative and fascinating. While still a young and resourceful descendant of a Jewish Venetian family, he had a series of innate abilities when he came to Genoa to study engineering, undecided about his future. 




The occasion came for him to discover his talent when he interrupted his studies and left for Milan with his family. He started working as sales representative for a glazier and once turned a glass vase into a lamp for a demanding client. He realized he had a talent for lights, which he could create by simply but effectively uniting different materials. He started producing his own objects and founded Arteluce, which was to become a successful company linked to the best artists and designers of the time: Gio Ponti, Lucio Fontana, Franco Albini, Albe Steiner, just to name some.





Above: a "can full of light", a lamp designed by Gino Sarfatti in the 60’s, produced in many non-primary colors and many sizes: extreme technical simplification of a ceiling light, it became used in several houses of the time.
Below: one of his most successful ideas was to combine a functional rarefaction (electric cable, lamp socket and light bulb) to the shape of a Verano glass chandelier (which was totally unfashionable at the time but would no longer be so at the end of the century); this idea met the great consensus of both public and critics.




The initial idea was to simplify as much as possible, following the Bauhaus concepts but also Gino Sarfatti’s intuition. The object-lamp was to be adapted to its main and exclusive functions in different rooms of the house. The only concession to the taste of the time was the use of pure colors in some products, which had never been used before him.











All his products were based on subtraction criteria, through which he could sometimes dematerialize the object and make it a simple, formal self-representation of function. For instance, the compositional representation created through the simple multiplication of an exposed light bulb and its lamp socket, supported by a “stem” or even simply hung by its electric cable.
This long-studied principle contributed to create his most successful products, like those used for the interior furnishing of motor vessel Andrea Doria, unfortunately sunk, or for the illumination engineering projects of Teatro Regio’s foyers in Turin, in collaboration with Carlo Mollino (here abowe).



 Exhibition in Triennale Milano, September 2012



Arteluce came in contact with the public and professionals of Milan, a cutting-edge city in terms of style, fashion, art and architecture in the 50’s and 60’s, thanks to 2 store-windows projected by Gino Sarfatti: one realized by Marco Zanusso in the street Corso Littorio, later become Corso Matteotti, the other by Vittoriano Viganò in the street Via della Spiga.



On the occasion of the exhibition at Triennale, a volume on the work of Gino Sarfatti has been published, printed by Corraini and entitled “The design of light”. Another volume of over 500 pages has been published by Silvana Editoriale, curated by Marco Romanelli in collaboration with Sandra Sarfatti and containing all 650 works of Gino Sarfatti. A wonderful, complete book about one of the main characters of the design field in the 20th century, and an absolute protagonist of the whole production chain, from the idea to the finished product



Enrico Mercatali
Lesa, 23th September 2012
(Updated on 26th May 2014)
(Translation from italian by Penelope Mirotti)



28 June 2014

An homage to Massimo Vignelli recently passed away in New York City




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Massimo Vignelli

An homage to Massimo Vignelli 
recently passed away in New York City





Eminent graphic designer, refined and educated, excellent exponent of our time, he became famous for the help given to his fellow citizens to orient themselves in the Big Apple. He realized a New York subway map of the year 1970-71, an icon of the city which would be revisited by others on several occasions.





Some examples of graphic design realized in their studio in New York by Lella and Massimo Vignelli , for Knoll International, for Heller, for the New York subway, for American Airlines, for Blumingdale


Massimo Vignelli was a man and artist of upright character: never a compromise, a weakness or a deviation from the beliefs leading his thoughts and actions. He was born in Milan but it didn’t take long for him to understand that New York was the city he wanted to be adopted by. However, he always loved and missed Milan, where he had built strong relationships with the main leading cultural figures of the city: Gae Aulenti, Vittorio Gregotti, Aldo Rossi, Maldonado...and Mies, whose charisma left a strong impact on him forever.





Some industrial design creations realized by Lella and Massimo Vignelli studio for Poltrona Frau


He was still young when he met Lella, the woman who would become his wife and business partner. Together they went to Massachusetts for the first job assignments and then to New York, where his first success was sealed by the prestigious project of a subway network in the early 70’s. With this first breakthrough, they became well-known for an essential, easy graphic, aimed at an immediate and broadly understandable communication, a “timeless” image. The posters picturing his multicolored network became widely reproduced thank to their originality.








 Some objects designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli studio for Heller 


Vignelli’s work became a synonim for practicality, rapidity, simplicity, but also elegance, style and beauty. Deeply linked to the essential and minimalist style of modern architecture, which was represented in the graphic field by Albe Steiner, Max Uber, but also Thomas Maldonado, his work became soon identified with the very city in which it was produced, New York, an icon of immediacy and modernity. A young, speedy city. Loved by many for this reason. And in this very city, at the Italian Cultural Institute, a big exhibition about Vignelli was held. Its title “Timelessness” perfectly summarized the timeless, high-quality world represented by their work. Massimo Vignelli never thought design could change the world, but he strongly believed it could make life better.






 Some projects of Lella and Massimo Vignelli Studio for the publishing industry



Massimo Vignelli’s work, and that of his wife, ranged from graphic to industrial design, frequently encompassing interior design as well. Among the most important collaborations are that with Knoll International and Poltrona Frau, whose results were true masterpieces perfectly in line with the essential features of their art.






Lella and Massimo Vignelli, interior furniture in Saint Peter’s Church at Citicorp Center, New York





Vignelli’s motto “Design is one” means that if you can draw an object it means you can face any problem and draw a thousand others. Quality is varied, but once you catch it your pencil can apply it to the whole world.

 

 Lella and Massimo Vignelli



Enrico Mercatali
Lesa (Lake Maggiore - Italy), 28th May 2014
Republished in english on June 28 2014
(translated from italian by Penelope Mirotti)