27 Sep 2017

André Bloc and the integration of the plastic arts into life

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Where and when

27September 2017



Museo Novecento

Free admission subject to availability

Speakers: Paolo Amaldi, Marco Del Francia, Annalisa Viati Navone e Susanna Ragionieri
Introduced by: Valentina Gensini

Starting from the end of the 1940s, André Bloc, engineer by training, founder and director of “L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui”, on the threshold of a prolific career as an artist establishes a privileged relationship with Italy, in particular with the artistic environments involved in the cultural project of “Sintesi delle Arti”.

“Recognizing the new collaboration relationship between the world of art and that of industrial production as one of the most lively and current problems (…) reaffirming the unitary relationship between architecture, painting and sculpture” was the goal of the 10th Milan Triennale of 1954 but also the main theme of the manifesto of the Groupe Espace, founded by Bloc in the same year and which welcomed in its team artists belonging to the Movement for Concrete Art (MAC). This unity of purpose around the shared project of an integration between artistic disciplines takes different forms. Two of them will be mainly investigated during the meeting. The first concerns the collaboration with Vittoriano Viganò, a Milanese architect, member of MAC and Groupe Espace, as well as Italian correspondent of the magazines “L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui” and “Aujourd’hui: art et architecture” from 1947 to 1963, who he will build his first holiday home on Lake Garda with and for the French artist (1954-1958).

Secondly, the organic “architecture-sculpture” experiments that Bloc expects in the 1960s in the park annexed to his main residence in Meudon will be discussed, producing examples of “sculptures” and “maisons habitacles” on different scales that will be presented at Florence, in 1962, in a personal exhibition at Matilde Giorgini’s Quadrante gallery and which will give rise to new reflections on domestic living that will also mark Vittorio Giorgini’s thought and work.

Paolo Amaldi

Architect, graduated from the Polytechnic of Lausanne, he obtained a research doctorate from the Institut d’Architecture of the University of Geneva with a thesis focused on the question of modern spatiality. His texts and essays focus on theories related to the concept of continuous space in twentieth century architecture, with specific research on paradigmatic objects by Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto and more recently Giulio Minoletti. He is also the author of texts on Renaissance architecture and on the theories of perspective. He was associate professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain and invited researcher at the Center Canadien d’architecture de Montréal. He is currently a professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Versailles and a member of the research laboratory of the same Ecole (LéaV). He is also an associate professor at the Université de Montréal and editor-in-chief of the architecture magazine “Faces”. He carries out his professional activity in Geneva in the Amaldi-Neder architecture studio of which he is a founding partner.

Marco Del Francia

Architect, President since 2012 of the “B.A.Co. (Baratti Architecture and Contemporary Art) – Vittorio Giorgini Archive “. Since 2014 he has been a member of the Technical Scientific Organizing Committee of AAA / Italy (National Association of Archives of Contemporary Architecture) and of the SPdA (“Scuola Permamente dell’Abitare”). Author of essays including Vittorio Giorgini. Nature as a model, Florence 2000 (finalist for the 2001 Bruno Zevi Prize), Contemporary Architecture in the Tuscan Landscape (2008) and Itineraries of Contemporary Architecture. Grosseto and its Province (2011). Special Jury Prize in 2012 at the “Capalbio Piazza Magenta International Award”, for the Capalbio publication. Stories of a Castle. He is the creator and designer of the new MAGMA Museum in Follonica (2013), winner of the “DASA – Micheletti Award 2015” and of the Business Meets-Art Awards 2014. He has curated various museum installations and temporary exhibitions, in collaboration – among others – with Enrico Crispolti and Studio Azzurro.

Annalisa Viati Navone

Graduated in Architecture at the University of Naples “Federico II”, she obtained a research doctorate at the Institut d’Architecture of the University of Geneva with a thesis focused on the villa “La Saracena” by Luigi Moretti and a post-doctorate at ‘EHESS – École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris with the research project Formes émouvantes. Sur la captation savante de l’œuvre d’architecture au XXème siècle. Since 2006 she has been a researcher at the Archivio del Moderno (University of Italian Switzerland) where she attends to the scientific coordination and direction of research projects focused on some important exponents of Italian 20th century architecture (Luigi Moretti, Marco Zanuso, Giulio Minoletti ) with particular regard to the forms of interaction between artistic disciplines and the development of critical tools for interpreting the work of architecture. Since 2016 she has been professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture of Versailles and researcher at the research laboratory of the same Ecole (LéaV) where she co-directs with Paolo Amaldi and Catherine Bruant the project Découvrir la figure et l’œuvre d’André Bloc (1986-1966).

Susanna Ragionieri

She studied in Florence with Carlo Del Bravo, graduating in 1984 with a thesis on the work of the painter Giovanni Colacicchi, published in 1986 (Giovanni Colacicchi’s Youth, Florence, Alinea). In the following years he continued to deal with Italian art between the two wars, deepening the relationships between painting, sculpture, literature and music, in situations that are still little known and studied. She has curated exhibitions in Florence (for the Marucelliana Library, the Academy of Arts and Design, the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Uffizi, the Modern Art Gallery of Palazzo Pitti, the Marino Marini Museum), in Siena (for the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala), in Pistoia (for the Civic Museum), in San Giovanni Valdarno (for Casa Masaccio), in Viareggio (for the “Lorenzo Viani” Art Gallery). With the monograph on the engraver Bruno Bramanti (Florence, Olschki), she deepened his studies on early twentieth century xylography and on the relationship between graphics and publishing. With the collaboration in the realization of the CD Rom for the Tuscany region Paths of contemporaneity. Visual arts in Tuscany 1945-2000 began a survey on the contemporary alternating with research on the graphic side from Fattori to Viani.

Credits: Veduta dell’esposizione personale André Bloc, galleria Quadrante, Firenze, 10 novembre-5 dicembre 1962 (Foto Barsotti, Firenze)

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