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“Genesis Light” (2007) installation view, Palazzo Crivelli, Galleria Calvi-Volpi, photo Gabriele Tocchio

Today opens to the public, on the first floor of Palazzo Reale in Milan, the show Nanda Vigo. Light Project, curated by Marco Meneguzzo, the first anthological retrospective show devoted by an Italian institute to this Milanese artist and architect who has influenced the Italian and European art scene of the past fifty years; through the exhibition of some eighty works the show recounts the exceptional career in art research of a figure of absolute importance on the international panorama, from her beginnings at the end of the 1950s up to the most recent experiences.A protagonist of the 1960s Milanese cultural climate, Nanda Vigo – born in Milan in 1936 – and a participant of the avant-gardes and groups of that time, Nanda Vigo developed a personal research based on light, transparency, and immateriality, which she thought should constitute the work and the environment inhabited by human beings, and of which the “cronotopi” are the artistic concretization. She began to make her Cronotopi in 1962, in harmony with the spirit of ZERO, the transnational group of artists from Germany, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy, of which she was a part.

“Diaframma” Nanda Vigo (1968) tubular Ponteur, glasses and neon. Photo Emilio Tremolada

Ambiente Cronotopico, Eurodomus, Torino (1968). Photo Ugo Mulas

A metal chassis encloses industrial glass, at time illuminated by neon, through which the light penetrates and manifests itself to the eye, a metaphor for lightness, mutation, and the spiritual immateriality of art and its perception. They soon took on the form of genuine environments (some of them made in collaboration with Lucio Fontana), often made of inclined glass cut in such a way as to reflect a new vision of reality, while she continued her work of planning design and architecture (she is famous for her collaboration with Giò Ponti for the Casa sotto la foglia, Malo, 1965, and the Museo Remo Brindisi at Lido di Spina, 1967). The 1980s were characterized by her attachment to the concepts of Post-modernism, while her later output returned to the seductive chill of neon, of radiant and diffused light, and of simple and dynamic forms.

Global Chronotopic Experience (2017), Spazio San Celso, Milano, photo Marco Poma

“Sky tracks” (2018). Trigger of the Space, installation view, Galleria San Fedele Milano, photo Marco Poma

Until 29 September projects, sculptures, and installations ranging over the whole arc of the artist’s output: the fulcrum of the exhibition is a fascinating Cronotopic environment that fills the whole Sala degli Specchi. In particular, this environment expresses the quintessence of Nanda Vigo’s understanding of art: an existential situation that permits transcendental experiences, going beyond the materiality of everyday life in order to physically perceive – as far as is possible – a higher reality, a universal syntony through contemplation, dematerialization, and communion with “everything”.Promoted by Comune di Milano | Cultura, Palazzo Reale, and Archivio Nanda Vigo, the show is part of a series with which Palazzo Reale for the fourth consecutive year explores, in its summer programme, contemporary art, scrutinising and evaluating the work of masters of Italian art from the post-war period until today. It also investigates the relationship that they have had with the city of Milan where they live, create, and develop their art, as in the specific case of Nanda Vigo.

Portait (2006), photo Afanador

“Arch/arcology” (2018) dedicated to Paolo Soleri, in collaboration with Alcantara, Museo MAXXI, Roma

“Lights Forever” (2013), Deep Space, installation view, Galleria Allegra Ravizza, Lugano, photo Emilio Tremolada