Tomorrow, November 29, the doors open for the 18th edition of Design Miami/, the week dedicated to art, in the beautiful city of Florida.
Among the many exhibitors present, the focus was on Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta, which will bring its project created together with Italian sculptor, designer and architect Gaetano Pesce. On sale will be a selection of the 400 colored resin chairs, the project is titled Come stai?, that served as the backdrop for Bottega Veneta’s Spring/Summer 2023 show in Milan in September.
The chairs are also the focus of a new limited edition book that the fashion house commissioned in which the genesis, criterion and evolution of this collaboration is recounted as well as giving us an insight into what are the points of conjunction that exist between Pesce and Bottega Veneta creative director Matthieu Blazy. All’interno si trovano anche le parole dello stesso Balzi, della curatrice di Design Miami/ Maria Cristina Didero, oltre a un’intervista a Gaetano Pesce e al critico, storico dell’arte e curatore svizzero Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Also scheduled for Nov. 30 at the exhibition space is a book signing anticipated by an image that brought together all the elements that form the basis of the project: fashion, design and art. A portrait destined to become iconic created by Sander, depicting the stunning Kate Moss completely naked and reclining on one of the chairs in the series Come stai?.
Marco Rambaldi presents his concept of Malafemmina, supported by Zalando, during Milan Fashion Week, amidst a flurry of events. The freedom and awareness emanating from Rambaldi are reassuring. In the midst of the flora at Floricoltura Radaelli in Dergano, a barefoot runway show begins, with shoes in hand. But who is the Malafemmina according to Marco Rambaldi, and what does he want to convey to us?
The Malafemmina brought to the catwalk by Rambaldi is self-aware: free, sincere, and strongin her own flaws. Freedom seems to be the key word to understand who the woman that the Bolognese brand wanted to showcase on the runway is. A woman who wears crochet, transparencies, and fringes that make her happily cursed. Proud of who she is. This concept reminds us of all the women who have been labeled as prostitutes, as malafemminas, indeed.
In the latest collection – Supernova – Rambaldi focused on the night, on who we are at night, and now he confronts the twilight. A place where boundaries are no longer so clear and, thanks to this, it makes us free. According to the Bolognese brand, the woman imagined by Marco Rambaldi will wear very high clogs, sharp slingbacks, and fringes that encourage spontaneity of movement. In short, Marco Rambaldi’s woman reminds us of all the women who – labeled as prostitutes – have led us on the path to freedom. From Bettina, the young woman from Bologna arrested by the Inquisition in 1662, to Modesta, the protagonist of Goliarda Speranza‘s “L’arte della gioia,” ready to do anything in the name of freedom. Bold and heroic.
Sometimes the spells of the mind are not enough; we must add the ardor of the heart, you, triple Hecate, whisper to me the letters of reason. The imprecations of the sorceresses seem to prophesy and answer the questions. Why stop? It’s not the moment.
This is how the show’s note reads, a thought that goes out to all the women liberated from stereotypes and guilt. To close the runway show, Mia Martini‘s Minuetto couldn’t be missing. A tribute to the Italian singer-songwriter born on September 20, 1947.
Nike is a brand with a long history of collaborations. But who is the designer behind their latest partnership? We’re talking about Feng Chen Wang, one of the most exciting emerging Chinese designers in the industry. Let’s learn more about the Nike x Feng Chen Wang collection, aimed at breaking the rules of sportswear by reimagining the brand’s iconic classics.
This collaboration looks to the future of sportswear as we know it, keeping the athletes of the future in mind. All of this is infused with a dose of experimentation and know-how in the use of innovative methods that appeal to everyone, regardless of gender or age. In short, it’s the perfect recipe for a partnership destined to make waves among sportswear innovators.
The star of this collection is undoubtedly the Transform Jacket, a piece that fully embodies the Chinese designer’s motto. Feng Chen Wang believes that owning less means owning more and versatility becomes crucial for a garment like the Transform Jacket, which can be worn on many different occasions.
Sustainability and environmental considerations are two fundamental aspects for Wang, who also includes engineered knits, crop tops, sports bras, and specially designed socks for a versatile look. This collection combines innovation and the designer’spersonal touch without leaving traditional sportswear behind.
The collection is set to launch on September 28th, available on fengchenwang.com, the SNKRS app, and selected Nike stores.
Art hides everywhere, often in unimaginable places, such as train stations and underground spaces. Just as frequently, it’s right in front of our eyes every day, and we don’t even notice it. We’re talking about public works of art, hidden – but not so much – among the streets and buildings of Italian cities that go unnoticed. We have selected five for you to discover. Let’s find out what they are.
#1 Adolfo Wildt’s Ear
In Milan, near the famous Villa Necchi-Campiglio, specifically at the number 10 of Via Serbelloni, there is a sculpture by Adolfo Wildt, created in 1927. It is an ear, placed in a niche of the building, known by the Milanese as “La Cà de l’Oreggia.” Actually, it’s not just a sculptural work but a real intercom. In the past, you could communicate with the concierge by speaking into the ear. Because of this unique detail, it is often referred to as “Italy’s first intercom.” Today, those who visit this “hidden sculpture” whisper a wish into the ear, hoping it will come true.
#2 The building with the piercing
In Turin, there is a building with a piercing. We’re talking about the artwork “Baci Urbani” by Corrado Levi, positioned on the corner of a building overlooking Piazzetta Corpus Domini. More precisely, it’s on the corner of the fourth floor of the building located at civic number 19. The artwork was created by artist Levi in collaboration with the group of artists and architects known as Cliostraat, who aim to work on urban spaces. The decision to adorn an eighteenth-century building with a piercing, a symbol of modernity and rebellion, reflects the artists’ desire to connect tradition with a space, both in concrete and abstract terms. If you look closely, you can see that “blood” flows from the two “holes,” with one side being red and the other blue, symbolizing the blood of the proletariat and that of the nobility.
#3 Clet Abraham’s road signs
Road signs are the means through which the city communicates with its citizens, regulating its flow and movements. Building on this insight, the French street artistClet Abraham decides to artistically intervene on them, using them as genuine supports for his works. Among other cities, he also does this in beautiful Florence. The artist works extensively, focusing on the historic center. If you pay attention, you can find many of them, with some interventions located in Piazza della Signoria, Piazza Duomo, and even at the Belvedere of Piazzale Michelangelo.
#4 The Banksy‘s Madonna with the Gun
Among the five, this is perhaps the most famous, but despite being in one of the most central points of Naples, it can easily go unnoticed. We’re talking about the first intervention in Italy by the world’s most famous street artist, Banksy. It’s the artwork often referred to as “The Madonna with the Gun,” which is now protected by a display case. It is located in Piazza Gerolomini, just steps away from Via Duomo. It could be mistaken for a religious symbol, of which Naples is filled, but it is, in fact, a statement by the Bristol artist. The Madonna’s halo is replaced by a revolver, symbolizing – in a provocative manner – the increasingly close connection between the sacred and the profane.
#5 The Arnaldo Pomodoro Labyrinth
With the last artwork, we return to Milan and move away from the street. In fact, more precisely, we take you underground. We’re talking about one of the most sensational works by the sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, who in 1995 began creating a true sculptural labyrinth. It is located in Via Solari, 35 and is a hidden gem of Milan that not everyone is aware of, partly due to its unique entrance. To access the Labyrinth, one must enter the Fendi Showroom. Once you step inside, you’ll enter the magical and mystical world of Pomodoro, who spent nearly twenty years creating this massive installation.
The two masters of painting Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) and Piero Dorazio (1927-2005) meet in Lugano in the exhibition Balla ’12 Dorazio ’60 Dove la luce at the Giancarlo and Danna Olgiati Collection, open from Sept. 24 to Jan. 14, 2024. The exhibition, with the skillful curation of Gabriella Belli and masterful staging by architect Mario Botta, stems from Danna Olgiati’s great love for Dorazio, which inevitably brings her back to Balla. The real encounter between the two artists, the former a pupil of the latter, is to be found in light. Both, in different years, experience a narrow period of research on light. More precisely, Balla did so in 1912 with the Compenetrazioni iridescenti while Dorazio in 1960 with his famous Trame. “If we look at Dorazio’s textures we see an extraordinary work of painting, a superimposition of colors. Balla, on the other hand, goes in search of the essence of light.” – says Danna Olgiati during the Sept. 22 press conference-, “The two artists I could see them combining, so I asked Gabriella what she thought of this idea and she afterwards did everything. She envisioned the exhibition and then Mario Botta did the installation.” The exhibition Dove la luce is the story of an extraordinary elective affinity between these two great masters of twentieth-century Italian art and, as curator Gabriella Belli says, serves to “focus on important points in Italian artistic research.”
The theme of light
“Light was the great theme of the nineteenth century. It was a light that wanted to restore truth, reality. For these twentieth-century artists, on the other hand, starting with Balla, light is a scientific experience. So it is no longer necessary to represent truth but to represent truth. Truth through light.” explains Belli. In this sense, the Olgiati Collection exhibition becomes essential to investigate and thus to rediscover the great work done primarily by Giacomo Balla, which is still reflected in contemporary research. “In some way, the exhibition tells about how, and what, the Futurist legacy managed to bring into the second postwar period and to feed research by so many other artists. We are talking about artists who did research other than Dorazio, but even Emilio Vedova and Fontana himself owe a debt to the Futurism of these years and especially to that of Balla. If we think about the figures who still continue to say something in contemporary times, certainly of all the artists perhaps Balla is the one who still makes an impact today.” continued Belli during the lecture, during which she gave a real art history lesson, recounting that 1912 so crucial to Balla’s research. The artist began making sketches in which he took up the geometric form of the triangle, reinventing it, or rather, using it from a scientific perspective and making it somewhat magical. In his works from this period, it is as if the artist looked through a microscope at the refraction of light and synthesized it into this form, resulting in “an exercise in abstractionism.“
Balla’s research in this field quickly petered out. These works will be hidden by the artist himself and will never be exhibited. It will be Dorazio around the end of the 1950s who will rediscover them. “For Dorazio we have chosen another topical date, 1960,” says Gabriella Belli, “That year Dorazio presents himself with a monographic room at the Biennale and chooses to exhibit the light plots. He chooses to exhibit the painting that made sense of the continuity of the line of Italian art. He makes a leap from Balla’s reconnaissance, amplifies and develops a scientific research by building a wonderful cycle of paintings. In a sense it is a homage and a conclusion to Balla’s research. They are lattices of light and color made with a light hand, diagonals weaving together. A wonderful weaving. It is a fabric of pure painting, of primary, complementary and secondary colors that intertwine with an extraordinary rhythm and consume all their energy within the frame of the canvas.”
The exhibition and the installation
The Olgiati Collection boasts the presence of many works by Balla, but they are not featured here. Most of Balla’s Iridescent Compenetrations in the exhibition come from private and museum collections, particularly from Galleria d’arte Moderna in Turin and from the Mart in Rovereto. More than 20 specimens are on display, including the very valuable postcard addressed by Balla to his friend and pupil Gino Galli in November 1912 that attests to the first news of the new research on Compenetrazioni. Dorazio’s Trame also number more than twenty. Most significant are those works in which the grid breaks up and sharply changes chromatic register, as in Time Blind (1963) and Tenera mano (1963).
Mario Botta‘s installation helps create a dynamic dialogue between the works of the two masters. The genius of the design lies in the choice of colors and shapes. Most of Balla’s works are placed on a white background, inside a niche and positioned suspended. This helps to embellish and enhance these works, which are smaller in size than those of Dorazio. The latter, on the other hand, are placed on large black surfaces that help to enhance their textures.
An illustrated catalog edited by Mousse-Milan was produced for the exhibition. More information about the exhibition can be found here.