“Aldo Rossi. Design 1960-1997”, the newly inaugurated exhibition at Museum of the twentieth century in Milanoffers the public an unpublished story, “imaginative and spectacular“through the more than 350 works, divided into furniture, objects, paintings and prototypes created by the Italian architect from 1960 to 1997. A set of works gathered for the first time thanks to the collaboration between important museums, corporate archives, public collections and private, Italian and international. A story that begins in 1960 with the first furniture made together with the architect Leonardo Ferrari, but already testifies to Aldo Rossi’s research into the relationship between the architectural and urban scale from the monumental and objective, which will characterize his entire production. It then continues through a selection of over 70 pieces of furniture and items designed from 1979, when Aldo Rossi began his collaboration with key industrial and advanced craft brands. It’s years where the Italian architect experiments with shapes and colors using different materials: metals, wood, marble, stone, ceramics, porcelain, up to craft and industrial fabrics and plastic materials. Years in which he gives life to furniture and products of common use that have become real icons of Italian and international design, some still in production.
The exhibition is part of the Museo del Novecento’s activities, which aim to deepen the interdisciplinary dialogue between the various art forms. A characteristic state of the time and that in the figure of Aldo Rossi, architect, designer, theorist and critic, certainly finds an important protagonist in the visual culture of the twentieth century.
The design of the exhibition, curated by the architect Morris Adjmi from the MA Architects studio, collaborator and later associate with Aldo Rossi in New York, is divided into nine showrooms. Each room represents “a world” by Aldo Rossi, where the architect’s graphic works are related to the handmade and industrial products produced. In the same rooms there are also references to Aldo Rossi’s architecture and private spaces. Thus, for example, in the first space the relationship between painted image and the reality of the object is introduced, the second is dedicated to prototypes and variants of an imaginary domestic panorama. The third space is connected with this, where the unpublished drawings of Rossi’s house in via Rugabella are presented next to the services you have designed for Alessi. Going from room to room, one can see some constants, such as the relationship to architecture, present throughout the exhibition, again highlighted in furniture projects created for the Carlo Felice Theater in Genoa and in the Museo chair, built for the Bonnefanten Museum. Maastricht (UniFor, 1994), presented in room 8.
The completion of the exhibition itinerary is entrusted to the Teatro del Mondo, a magical and mysterious architecture that, reminiscent of the temporary works exhibited at the beginning, ideally closes the exhibition cycle. The catalog raisonné accompanies the exhibition “Aldo Rossi.Design 1960-1997”, edited by Silvana Editoriale, edited by Chiara Spangaro and with a critical essay by Domitilla Dardi, which for the first time brings together all the designed and unpublished design works by Aldo Rossi and a wide program of side events.
Photos lent by Museo del Novecento – Milan
(16-23) Aldo Rossi. Design 1960-1997, installation display at the Museo del Novecento. Ph: Francesco Carlini
Title: Aldo Rossi. Design 1960-1997
Curated by Chiara Spangaro
exhibition design Morris Adjmi – MA Architects
Date: April 29 – October 2, 2022
Location: Museo del Novecento, Milan
01, Aldo Rossi, Milan’s interior with a person observing the Duomo with fog, 1989. Private collection. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
02, Aldo Rossi, La conica espressomaskine, 1984 Alessi. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
03, Aldo Rossi, Forkas-man, 1980, private collection. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
04 Aldo Rossi, Elba Cabin Wardrobe, 1982 Bruno Longoni Furniture Studio, Cantù. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
05 Aldo Rossi, Piazza Tea & Coffee Service, 1983 Tea and Coffee Service, Alessi. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
06 Aldo Rossi, Reflections of electric light on steel, 1985, private collection. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
07 Aldo Rossi, Studio for carpet, 1986, private collection. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
08 Aldo Rossi, Study for Momento wristwatch, 1987. Alessi Museum. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
09 Aldo Rossi, Untitled, 1989. Private collection. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
10 Aldo Rossi, La cubica pot, 1991 Alessi. Alessi Museum. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
11 Aldo Rossi, Florentine furniture series, 1992-1995. Bruno Longoni Collection Furniture Workshop, Cantù. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
12 Aldo Rossi, Interior Exterior, 1994. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
13 Aldo Rossi and the Parigi armchair for UniFor, 1989. © Federico Brunetti. Courtesy Federico Brunetti.
14 Aldo Rossi and Luca Meda, Piroscafo modular bookcase, 1992. Molteni & C, Giussano. Molteni Museum. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy Molteni & C.
15 Aldo Rossi, Papyro Desk, 1990 Molteni & C, Giussano. Molteni Museum. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy of the Aldo Rossi Foundation.
16-23 Aldo Rossi. Design 1960-1997, installation display at the Museo del Novecento. Ph: Francesco Carlini