The world of metal in the works of Alessandro Mendini on display in Milan at M77 Gallery

From April 4 to May 2023, "The Age of Metals," an exhibition dedicated to the story of artist, poet, planner and designer Alessandro Mendini, opens to the public at M77 Gallery.

TheAge of Metals, an exhibition of works by Alessandro Mendini (Milan, Italy, 1931 - 2019) curated by Stephan Hamel with the special participation of Francesca Alfano Miglietti, aims to recount an unprecedented vision of the eclectic architect and theorist, planner and designer who has made a profound mark on the history of international design and art.

Metal becomes the common denominator in the exhibition project created by gallery owners Giuseppe Lezzi and Emanuela Baccaro of M77 Gallery, scheduled from April 4 to May 2023, to describe the kaleidoscopic activity of the Lombard artist. Alessandro Mendini’s intention was to infuse objects with a soul, because an object is never just a tool, it establishes intimate relationships with the psyche, fragility and uncertainties of people according to ritual and ceremonial attitudes. For Mendini, every object is a symbol, it is a fetish, it is the fruit of utopias and loves, and the energy it expresses is a narrative that gives identity to the silent forms of things, as if every object reflects its history through structure, surface, color and materials.

“...From the depths of time, the objects of the world have possessed a soul, that of the spiritual aspirations of the men of their peoples. The mass-produced object of the industrial age is in search of the lost soul.” wrote Alessandro Mendini (2014).

More than 55 works, some of which are previously unpublished, thus investigate the metallic soul of the master, who passed away in 2019, who left as his recognizable creative method the vision of the project as art and art as project. The curatorial choice takes its cue from Alessandro Mendini’s interest in the use of gold as the tower of the Groningen Museum and of yellow and black in the checkered decoration of the bus shelter in Hannover, or in some installations of the early 1990s, where this checkering expands and invades the surfaces of walls, paintings, objects and sculptures.

“Checkering is an enigmatic and even enigmatic sign, especially if it is yellow and black, or gold and black. It is a highly signal system, used as much in medieval heraldry as on airport runways. If it is very small it translates into the grid of a mosaic or the weave of small-stitch fabric, if it is large it can translate into just the intersection of two colors. ”2007, Alessandro Mendini.

The M77 gallery spaces present in dialogue some of the many objects that express this interplay of the juxtaposition of the two colors and materials such as the gilded bronze of Dürer’s Little Knight (D613 Studiolo, Grenoble), miniatures of Short Stories, precious gilded sculptures of some historic furniture conceived from the 1970s, in the Radical period to the reproduction in gold pendant jewelry of the Stilemes, recognizable graphic signs of his personal decorative alphabet (Alessandro Mendini. Things).

Interwoven in this iridescent constellation of Alessandro Mendini’s works are materials such as the steel of the large Scivolavo chair (Short Stories), the gold leaf mosaic of the mobiliscultura (Bisazza); the ceramic of the Camino vases in 24 kt gold and matte platinum finish and the Proust Marieda miniature in speckled coppered platinum (Alessandro Mendini. Cose) and finally the glass of the Rombo vase, in the new uranium coloring, made by Lasvit, following the tradition of the master glassmakers in Bohemia.

Silver, enamel and copper are the materials chosen by Alessandro Mendini for his tribute to the Italian Futurists, represented as faces and wall masks, sculptures made byPampaloni Argenteria of Florence.

“Among materials and precious stones, working with gold appeals to me because of its beauty and technical availability. But what interests me most is that gold, from the very distant times of the mask of Agamemnon until today, and everywhere, is a precious medium in the hands of mankind, to create small symbols charged with poetry and memories.” 2000, Alessandro Mendini On display are some of the artist’s original drawings and paintings, part of the Alessandro Mendini Archive.

The objects from the editions Alessandro Mendini. Things were identified from the great heritage of projects and drawings in the Alessandro Mendini Archive, curated by Elisa and Fulvia Mendini.

The world of metal in the works of Alessandro Mendini on display in Milan at M77 Gallery
The world of metal in the works of Alessandro Mendini on display in Milan at M77 Gallery

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