Luciano Baldessari. Architetture per la scena

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
plus May, 05Nov, 26 2023

Luciano Baldessari. Architecture for the Stage An exhibition narrating the work and vision of Luciano Baldessari: architect, designer and set designer as well as an eclectic and free figure. The exhibition features drawings and projects of his, including his Luminator mannequin-lamp.

Luciano Baldessari. Architetture per la scena is the exhibition hosted at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini from 5 May to 26 November – in conjunction with the Biennale Architettura 2023 – in the spaces of the Manica Lunga Library.

A project designed to recount the history, the artistic career and the innovative contribution of Luciano Baldessari (1896–1982): one of the most interesting – and partly forgotten – architects and designers of the twentieth century, a courageous and nonconformist experimenter, whose life and career spanned the historical avant-gardes, from Europe to the United States.

Curated by Anna Chiara Cimoli, lecturer at the University of Bergamo and president of the Fondazione CASVA, the rich exhibition consists of drawings in which dance, theatre, painting and music converge in an ever-spatial vision.

Baldessari’s visual culture indeed constitutes a dynamic and composite framework, whose design method discards nothing of what is experienced, reworking it and bringing it into the present.
This way of looking at the world and at architecture is also expressed in one of Baldessari’s most interesting projects: the Luminator mannequin-lamp-sculpture, presented at the 1929 Universal Exhibition in Barcelona, which encapsulates the architect’s tribute to the Futurist season and the sedimentation of Bauhaus culture, which he frequented during his years in Berlin. The object was created as a support for textiles, but it rotates like a dancer, illuminating the space and creating light refractions.

It is on show here in the Manica Lunga Library thanks to the collaboration with Codiceicona, today the manufacturer of the Luminator.

The works on display, part of the collection of CASVA-Centro di Alti Studi per le Arti Visive del Comune di Milano, are here enhanced by the installation project curated by Baldessari and Baldessari: an overview of Baldessari’s scenery production between the 1920s and 1940s that bears witness to illustrious commissions – Max Reinhardt, Erwin Piscator, Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, Tatiana Pavlova, Enzo Ferrieri, Riccardo Gualino, right up to his work for New York theatres.