The exhibition narrates Vico Magistretti as a traveller and architect in the world.
The show addresses two themes: Magistretti as a traveller and tourist from 1947 to 1960, through photographs never exhibited before from the family album; Magistretti as architect and designer, with three projects done from 1959 to 1986 in Argentina, France and Japan.
“I have had to travel, and wanted to travel … in short, I’ve travelled quite extensively around the world. It was enormously useful, above all one trip I made when I was still young was enormously useful…”. This is the beginning of the story of Magistretti the traveller, from Argentina to Chile to Peru and then New York, London, France, Spain and Italy.
Magistretti records these experiences in a series of black and white photographs whose original prints have been conserved, and are shown in the exhibition. In these photographs one can sense the “amazed” gaze that then shifts to careful examination of details that would later be reworked in his projects of design and architecture. The gaze is often ironic, always penetrating.
From the albums containing the “proofs” of the pictures he took (over 700), about 200 images have been selected and assembled in a video: with these pictures, Vico narrates his travels with the family, his vacations, always with an eye on simple details (a floor with geometric motifs, a rural chair in wood…), almost as if to construct a sort of archive of possible creative stimuli for future use.
Magistretti was an architect and designer.
In Campana, in the province of Buenos Aires, from 1959 to 1963 Magistretti built a residential complex for Techint (now renovated and reopened, in 2008, as the Tenaris University Residence). This was supposed to be the first building in a larger project (never implemented) for a civic centre.
The exhibition includes drawings and photographs of the first work done by Magistretti outside Italy.
In Paris, at Place de la Madeleine, in 1967 Magistretti opened the showroom designed and furnished for Cerruti 1881: a place marked by equal attention to the design of the volumes and the furnishing details, a place that was to become the model for the stores of the Cerruti brand around the world.
The project is documented by a fine series of sketches and drawings never before published, as wall as original photographic prints.
For the Tanimoto house, built in 1985-86, Magistretti designed all the furnishings, with the exception of the tea room. The whole project reflects the goal of adapting a western conception of habitat and architecture to the suggestions of the Japanese context. Many sketches and drawings in the exhibition illustrate this house, together with photographs made by Yukio Futagawa.
The three projects are accompanied by in-depth information offered by tablets inserted in the installation, containing the project descriptions by Magistretti (unpublished), the sketches and designs not displayed, and articles on the works that appeared in the press.