This volume accompanies the exhibition Rodolfo Aricò / Anna Castelli Ferrieri. L’Amore per il progetto, curated by Paola Nicolin, on view at the gallery from September 27 to November 23, 2019. The show presented a dialogue between two pivotal Milanese figures of the 1970s: the artist Rodolfo Aricò (1930-2002) and the architect-designer Anna Castelli Ferrieri (1918-2002). The display of Arico’s shaped canvases alongside pieces of furniture by Castelli Ferrieri revealed how the two paid meticulous attention to designing their works and were among the first ones in Milan to challenge the limits of painting and architecture respectively.
In the present catalogue, affinities and differences between Aricò’s and Castelli’s work are elucidated in the preface written by the exhibition curator Paola Nicolin. The republishing of Guido Ballo’s interview to Aricò from the 1975 exhibition catalogue Progetti – translated into English on this occasion for the first time – sheds light on the artist’s conception of design as research and experimentalism, combining geometric rigor, lucidity of mind, and emotional charge. The essay ‘Design responsibilities: the “natural” of man’ from Anna Castelli’s 1991 volume The Interfaces of Material. Design experiments: chairs and behaviorsummarises her attitude towards design and her visionary experimentations with natural and artificial materials.
This entirely illustrated catalogue is enriched by the images of the works displayed in the exhibition, installation views, and archival material and photographs from the Archivio Rodolfo Aricò and the Archivio Anna Castelli Ferrieri, some of which are published for the first time on this occasion.
— Tommaso Calabro
— Paola Nicolin
Conversation with Guido Ballo
— Rodolfo Aricò and Guido Ballo
Design responsibilities: the “natural” of man
— Anna Castelli Ferrieri
Catalogue of works
Paola Nicolin is an Art and Architecture Historian, working as Research Affiliate in Art History at Bocconi Unversity, Milan. In 2019, she was appointed Curator of the Public Program at Triennale Milano. From 2017 to 2018 she worked as Editor-at-Large for Domus and, from 2006 to 2011, as Art Editor for Abitare. Since 2009, she has been a regular contributor to Artforum. From 2011 to 2013, she served the City of Milan as responsible for Exhibitions and public programs.