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Architecture, design and art: Angelo Mangiarotti in Milan
Going to see this retrospective, curated by Beppe Finessi and on at the Triennale in Milan until 21 April is a bit like going to visit an old friend. In the galleries, each object and each drawing says something about him, his way of working and his creativity. Not only this but it does so in a way that is very direct, with an almost confiding tone. The "friend" in question is one of the most brilliant Italian architects of the last fifty years, Angelo Mangiarotti, now aged eighty. The exhibition contains his most important works: the church of Baranzate (near Milan), the house in via Quadronno in Milan and the Eros series of tables to name just three.
Each project – the exhibition includes 15 in architecture, 19 in product design and 13 sculptures – offers a pretext to describe a different working method, where the main ingredients are architecture, engineering, design and art, cleverly "mixed" in varying measures and proportions. So how does an exhibition of architecture manage to be so direct and involving? The answer is by presenting a building not so much as a collection of bricks, beams and columns, but as the result of a creative process. Each project is introduced with fragments of interviews, films and Mangiarotti’s own words.
Specially produced for the exhibition is the sculpture, "Genesis" in white Carrara marble which will be donated to the city of Milan.
In addition is a book dedicated to the "B side" of his work, or rather forty or so lesser known and unseen works, projects which remained on paper, were unpublished or lost together with the testimonials of friends and colleagues. To complete the picture, a CD-Rom on Mangiarotti is available, as well as a video.