Posed architectures. The works of Vico Magistretti in Milan

For the first time, Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti presents an exhibition on Magistretti as architect, narrated through the photographs from his archive.

The exhibition shows the photographs of certain buildings that have set the tone of the city of Milan, like the Church of Santa Maria Nascente at QT8 neighborhood (1947-55, with Mario Tedeschi), the Tower at Parco Sempione on Via Revere (1953-56, with Franco Longoni), the building on Via Leopardi (1958-61, with Guido Veneziani), the building on Piazza San Marco (1966-73) and the Department of Biology of the Università degli Studi of Milan (1978-81, with Franco Soro).

The eleven buildings on show are illustrated by the photographs conserved in the archive, often donated by the photographers themselves - artisans and masters of photography like Monticelli, Ballo, Sinigaglia, Beltrami, Basilico, Studio Quattro, Casali, Zwietasch, Pegoraro, Riolzo - as an act of tribute and intellectual complicity between artists working in different media. Milan, besides being the capital of modern architecture and design, has also been a driving force in publishing and photography, in a process of mutual collaboration that has helped to convey its image as an international city.

Captured in their poses on the sets of Milan’s streets, squares and neighborhoods, the architectural works of Vico Magistretti reveal their innermost characteristics, in terms of the quality of their urban insertion and the extraordinary, terse elegance of a language that is simultaneously gentle and essential. A tribute to Milan, then, and to one of the “master builders” of its modern image, joined here by the reinterpretation on film by Francesca Molteni, adding to the still lifes of the photographers a second life of movement and dynamism.

Together with the exhibition, Fondazione Magistretti presents the Milano Magistretti & Me project, a collective map of Milano, a collective narrative of urban experiences, where Vico and the Fondazione visitors can share emotions and thoughts connected with the city, its streets, monuments, spots and its services.
Magistretti's thoughts and opinions about Milan, written by the illustrator and graphic designer Julia Binfield, are shown on a map of the city revealing the places he liked, the buildings he designed or those of other architects, his favorites and those he would have like to see demolished, his habitual paths through the city.  Together with these, visitors are encouraged to indicate their most beloved or detested places on the map, their everyday itineraries… A collective narrative of urban experiences, to share emotions, thoughts connected with places, the city and its services.

As part of the exhibition, Fondazione Vico Magistretti proposes two conversations: the first, Architecture and Fine Art Photography, between Giovanna Calvenzi and Fulvio Irace on Gabriele Basilico's interpretation of Magistretti's architecture in Milan; the second, An Englishman in Milan, where Gianni Biondillo, architect and writer, and Stefano Boeri, architect and urban planner, interpret Vico's words on the city.


From 27.3.2014 to 14.2.2015


Exhibition curated by
Fulvio Irace
with Manuela Leoni

Exhibit design by
Paolo Ulian

Graphic design by

Video by
Francesca Molteni

With the support of Leopardi 15 - Case d’Autore and Artemide