ALDO ROSSI - The window of the poet

6 April 2016 - 10:00am to 24 July 2016 - 7:00pm
— Curated by: Ton Quik

WARNING: on 17 and 18 may, the exhibition is closed. 



The window of the poet
Prints 1973-1997

At GAMeC, the only Italian exhibition of a travelling project already hosted at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and Archizoom, École politechnique fédérale in Lausanne

Opening: 5 April 2016, 7 p.m.

Press Preview: 5 april 2016, 11.30 a.m.


The exhibition

From 6 April to 24 July 2016, GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo is pleased to host the exhibition Aldo Rossi. The window of the poet – Prints 1973-1997, which brings together the graphic works of the famous architect and designer (1931–1997).

Staged by the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht in collaboration with the Fondazione Aldo Rossi in Milano for the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the new Bonnefantenmuseum, built by Rossi between 1990 and 1995, the exhibition is part of a travelling project that involves three venues: in addition to the Dutch museum (26 June–15 November 2015), it is being staged at Archizoom, the exhibition space of the École politechnique fédérale de Lausanne (29 February–24 March 2016), and GAMeC in Bergamo.

The exhibition, curated by Ton Quik, features 100 prints by the Italian artist and architect – from the Bonnefantenmuseum collection and private collections – alongside 40 paintings and drawings, and several sketches and plates used to produce the works.

The chronological-thematic itinerary opens with prints from the Seventies, etchings in black and white on which analytical studies are based – such as Il grande cimitero di Modena, Le due città and the various Composizioni urbane – as well as objects of affection, as seen in L’architettura domestica, where among the architectural works we find the first studies for the coffeepots Rossi later designed for Alessi. Among the prints from the Eighties, there are architectural studies such as The Lighthouse, experimentations on the theme of fragments – also in the project entitled Fragments – and Rossi’s two famous analogical works: Il Teatro del Mondo, the subject of five prints ranging between technical and “mental” representations, and La città analoga, which was the subject of a study for a multimedia project by Dario Rodighiero, scientific collaborator of the École politechnique fédérale in Lausanne.
Lastly, there are the works from the Nineties, which present different themes and subjects, not all of which strictly tied to architecture – like Il caffè del Mattino, the first print of a domestic scene – alongside compositional capriccios like Geometrie Romane and Il pesce d’oro, the last work Rossi saw to completion.

In some cases, the graphic works are set alongside their sketches as well as the production plates and the variations of the same subject. The exhibition thus offers visitors references on Rossi’s workmanship process and an introduction to his “analogical” thought. His prints highlight a fascinating relationship between one-off and multiple pieces, conceptually tied to his idea of architecture as a modus operandi in which the process is at least as important as the product.

The various subjects presented in the exhibition are connected by Rossi’s ability to use multiple printing techniques. Rossi was not a graphics purist, but continually explored the new possibilities offered by the various techniques in use; his Opera Grafica covers the entire range of 20th-century graphic techniques: engravings, etchings, woodcuts, lithographs, serigraphs and offsets.

Rossi’s production demonstrates an unconventional reaction to internal impulses, such as personal reflection and technical experimentation, and external ones, including relationships with friends and collaborators. Rossi was able to merge the professional aspects of architectural representation with his poetic and personal imagery, and his prints offer an individual look at the architect’s world: the poet’s window that inspired the title of the exhibition – The window of the poet (La finestra del poeta) – and that represented one of his favourite subjects.

The exhibition concludes a more extensive project stemming from the collaboration between the Bonnefantenmuseum and the Fondazione Aldo Rossi, with the aim of studying Rossi’s subjects and printing
techniques, but also exploring in detail the historical context and reasons that inspired him to choose this medium. This analysis led the two institutions to seek the ties between Rossi’s serial works and his drawings, through careful research in collaboration with the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome, the Archivio del Moderno in Mendrisio, the Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht and the École politechnique fédérale in Lausanne.

The publication

The almost complete collection of Aldo Rossi’s graphic works, purchased in 2011 by the Bonnefantenmuseum, was analysed and documented through an international study project.
The volume accompanying the exhibition, Aldo Rossi. Opera Grafica. Etchings, Litographs, Silkscreen, Prints illustrates the outcome of these scientific studies and offers the first detailed and exhaustive overview of the artist’s Opera Grafica.

Published and distributed by Silvana Editoriale, it contains four essays and an in-depth analysis of Aldo Rossi’s graphic production, along with the artist’s biography and bibliographical references.
It includes texts by Germano Celant, Kurt W. Forster, Stijn Huijts, Ingrid Kentgens, Beatrice Lampariello, Ton Quik, Chiara Spangaro and Sandra Suatoni.

Brief Biography

Aldo Rossi (1931-1997) studied architecture in the Fifties at the Politecnico di Milano. After his BA, he worked as assistant in Ignazio Gardella and Marco Zanuso’s offices, while teaching with Ludovico Quaroni at the School of Urban Studies in Arezzo and with Carlo Aymonino at IUAV in Venice. He became lecturer at the Polytechnic of Milan in 1959, won the chair of Caratteri degli edifici (buildings’ character) in 1970, when he began to collaborate with several American universities including the Cooper Union University, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, Harvard and Yale Universities.

As an architect, his activity has been equally divided between public and private building. Among the first projects: the expansion of the school De Amicis of Broni (1970), a residential unit at Gallaratese in Milan (1973), the San Cataldo Cemetery in Modena (1978) and the primary school in Fagnano Olona (1976). Then: the public buildings of Fontivegge-Perugia and Borgoricco (1989), the renovation of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa (1989), the expansion of the airport of Milan-Linate (1993), until the project for the reconstruction of the Theatre " La Fenice "in Venice (1997). At the same time its fame states across national borders with achievements such as the block between Kochstrasse and Friedrichstrasse in Berlin (1981), Hotel "Il Palazzo" in Fukuoka (1989) and the Maastricht Bonnefantenmuseum (1994).

Rossi’s activity as a historian and theoretician of architecture includes, in addition to collaborations with magazines such as "Casabella Continuità", "Società" and "Il Contemporaneo", the publication of The
Architecture of the City (1966) and A Scientific Autobiography (1984); to which must be added the film Ornamento e delitto (ornament and crime), the curatorship of the international section of architecture at
Triennale di Milano (1973) and the architecture section of the Venice Biennale of 1983.

Architect and scholar, named Accademico di San Luca in 1979, recipient of the Pritzker Prize in 1990 and of the 1991 Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture, Rossi is also famed for his activity as a product designer – with Alessi, Artemide, Longoni, Molteni, Unifor and others. His artistic achievement is expressed in works like the Teatro del Mondo presented at the 1979 Venice Biennale, and his Monument to Sandro Pertini (Milan, 1990), but also through the wealth of paintings and prints always associated with his designs.

The window of the poet. Prints 1973-1997

Opening hours
Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00-19:00 / Thursday: 10:00-22:00 / Monday closed

Tickets (valid for all the exhibitions on show)
Full: € 6,00 / Reduced: € 4,00

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