Rome, Nuoro, Padua, Turin, Milan, Lucca, Bologna host the gazes of designers, architects, photographers and painters who speak of today. Here are the exhibitions of the month

The exhibitions to see in December have to do with the visionary creativity of invention.

We begin with Riccardo Dalisi, a brilliant Neapolitan designer by adoption who, while working on a project for a coffee maker (produced by Alessi and awarded the Compasso d'Oro), imagined a population of coffee makers- puppets of the popular tradition (in Rome).

Nuoro instead hosts a hyper-conceptual exhibition, the result of a dialogue between the curator Maddalena D'Alfonso, the artist Patrick Tuttofuoco and the architect and designer of Pininfarina Architettura Giovanni de Niederhäusern on the time of creativity; while in Padua the mental scenario of Esther Stocker is on display, a juggler of visual perception who mocks mathematics and geometry.

Turin talks about photography and the environment with the shots of Luca Locatelli describing good practices for safeguarding the planet in terms of the circular economy. Milan looks to Ron Mueck, an artist to be discovered among maxi sculptures capable of making us reflect on our temporariness, while Lucca tells us about the first (perhaps) epic football match in history , the one played in Lucca in 1662!

Finally, Bologna: a gift in the showcase with the restoration of a piece by the couple Ico Parisi and Luisa Aiani. Good vision!

Riccardo Dalisi, Radicalmente, MAXXI, Rome, until 3 March 2024 h2

Ingenious, unconventional, outside the box and capable of imaginative architectural abstractions, Riccardo Dalisi is one of the most curious and creative Italian designers of recent decades. One year after his death, MAXXI is dedicating an important retrospective to him as part of an investigation into the Mediterranean as a place of dialogue and as guardian of cultural and identity heritage. In fact, alongside Dalisi's work, there is also an ongoing exhibition dedicated to Mimmo Jodice, who has well investigated the territory of the Mare Nostrum with his photography.

But (perhaps) it is another story, even if both tell of the "Mediterraneanness". Dalisi's talks about architecture, built, designed or even just fantasized. Thus there are the buildings of the Naples Goods Exchange, built with Michele Capobianco and Massimo Pica Ciamarra in 1964, but also the renovations necessary after the earthquake in Irpinia in 1980 and went down in history as "creative restorations", up to its gigantic coffee pots, the result of research carried out between 1979 and 1987 for Alessi and awarded with the Compasso Gold.

A coffee shop in fact went into production, but that creative work also generated hundreds of objects halfway between the coffee pot and the marionette, which recall characters from the Neapolitan tradition and beyond: there are, for example, the Totocchi, hybrid beings between Totò and Pinocchio... Very interesting thenis the work on the chair which, starting from a small example in reclaimed wood made by a Neapolitan child, Dalisi had interpreted by artists and designers such as Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Ettore Sottsass, Enzo Mari, Bruno Munari, Paolo Portoghesi, Superstudio, Archizoom, Zziggurat, 9999, Aldo Rossi, Franco Purini, Franco Raggi, Ugo La Pietra, Gae Aulenti…

Who will like it: story-seekers, storytellers with pencil in hand, dreamy designers.

Useful information: Gallery 4 - MAXXI, via Guido Reni 4/A, Rome, open from Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 7pm.

The rest of the dawn. Pininfarina Architecture and Patrick Tuttofuoco, MAN , Nuoro, until 3 March 2024

The Man hosts a philosophical exhibition. For many reasons, the first must be traced precisely in its conception, a theoretical comparison between Maddalena d'Alfonso, curator and museographer, the artist Patrick Tuttofuoco and the architect Giovanni de > Niederhäusern, vice president of Pininfarina Architecture, on the subject of the space and time of art. Thus was born a work that interprets the virtual in a physical space of hypertechnology.

Not only. The space of art is understood as an experiential space, but created thanks to digital prototyping that integrates the public with the work itself, activating both to think about the time of art , an inevitable mix between past, present and future. Where we are going and where we come from are the most classic of questions, represented here by a rising sun, a dawn, capable of keeping us suspended in the present.

Who will like it: fans of contaminations between art and architecture, perhaps interactive.

Useful information: Man Museum, via S. Satta 27, Nuoro, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm.

Esther Stocker. A mental scenario, Fondazione Alberto Peruzzo, Padua , until March 3, 2024

The psychology of perception is the basis of the artistic work of Stocker, born in South Tyrol but Viennese by adoption. She declines this research in the mathematical and geometric field to transform the exhibition space into a black and white mental scenario, distant from the rational order that constitutes it.

A process of compression, crumpling, something that precedes the final act of destruction characterizes the volumes displayed on the ground, suspended or placed against the walls, all decorated with geometric patterns.

The mathematics explodes, or implodes, the apparently ordered rhythm undergoes continuous visual deviations, interrupting the two-dimensionality, to instead generate amazement and wonder in the viewer. Who is forced to investigate (his own) perceptive ability. An interesting journey between psychology, art, mathematics and architecture of the exhibition space.

Who will like it: The discovery of an unconventional territory will be a source of curiosity for everyone, certainly for those who investigate design and perception.

Useful information: Alberto Peruzzo Foundation, Nuova Sant'Agnese, via Dante Alighieri 63, Padua, open from Wednesday to Sunday 11am - 7pm.

Luca Locatelli. The Circle. Solutions for a possible future, Gallerie d'Italia, Turin, until 18 February 2024

This is a very special exhibition because it brings photography back to its very first function of documenting: telling distant things, which otherwise could not be seen to know them, although filtered by the gaze of the photojournalist. Well, here is Luca Locatelli, winner of the World Press Photo in 2020 for the Environment Stories Section, talks about the circular economy in the world. Commissioned by Intesa Sanpaolo and supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Italian photographer has traveled across Europe in the last two years in search of emblematic and replicable practices and stories that would open the debate on the ecological transition and the state of the planet.

The good practices, the Nature Based Solutions, are therefore contained in 70 works including shots and videos taken in Austria, France, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, with projects in Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany and Veneto.

Who will like it: photography enthusiasts and those who care about the future of the planet.

Useful information: Gallerie d'Italia, Piazza San Carlo 156, Turin, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 7.30pm, on Wednesdays until 10.30pm.

Ron Mueck, Triennale, Milan, from 5 December 2023 to 10 March 2024

What does the human skull represent in the iconography of Western art? And in the contemporary one? Certainly an object with a high symbolic value, but also an attractive and fascinating element to describe another world, even a frightening element of a more or less imminent end of life.

Between the magical, the gothic and the depressing, the skull also has a vivifying power to incite life in its role as a memento mori. In short, investigating the potential of the human skull can open up many paths, including the one that leads to Ron Mueck.

Australian artist based in London, already arrived in Milan thanks to the Fondation Cartier which exhibited him as part of the 23rd International Exhibition of Triennale Milano last year, now he returns to the same venue with a solo show of monumental works, including perhaps his most famous: Mass, an installation that is part of the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), composed of 100 giant skull-shaped sculptures . A dive, for spectators, into the thousand and ambivalent meanings of the representation of the human skull.

Who will like it: those who want to discover contemporary art and those who love installations.

Useful information: Triennale, viale Alemagna 6, Milan, open from 5 December to 10 March, from Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 8pm.

Noble leisure. The game of football. Lucca 1662, Church of S. Franceschetto, Lucca, until 7 January 2024

There are football matches that have made history, to be imprinted forever in the collective imagination. And the one that was played on January 18, 1662 in Lucca is probably the first of this long series.

Certainly the extraordinary nature of that match is that it was called to honor the visit of Archduke Ferdinand Charles of Austria and Innsbruck (1628-1662) together with his wife Anna de' Medici and his daughter Claudia Felicita, guests in the Buonvisi and Busdraghi palaces. But above all that of having been painted by Camillo Ciai, a very skilled painter, who frames the match with a red curtain, as if it were hosted in a theatre. The game of football was a custom with a detailed legislature in Lucca at the time, but playing it was much more complicated than today, just think that no less than 150 players per team took to the field!

The painting by Ciai is now exhibited at the Church of S. Franceschetto, thanks to the Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Foundation, which recently purchased the work.

Who will like it: the curious and football fans.

Useful information: Church of San Franceschetto, open Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm.

Ico Parisi, Garage Bentivoglio, Bologna, from 13 December to 20 January

Garage Bentivoglio is a new exhibition space in Bologna conceived and curated by Davide Trabucco as a showcase. In this space that can be used directly from the street, Trabucco displays some pieces from the collection and December will be an opportunity to see an important piece of Ico Parisi's production: the Positano room, designed with his wife Luisa Aianiand created by MIM (Modern Italian Furniture) in 1958.

The piece entered the collection of Palazzo Bentivoglio by chance: it was purchased at Piazza Grande market, an institution in Bologna for the recovery of old furniture whose proceeds help the poor.

And now, duly restored, the room is on display in via del Borgo di San Pietro: a fantastic opportunity to rediscover the creativity of a historic couple of Italian design, long overlooked. Palazzo Bentivoglio then hosts the exhibition dedicated to the painter Felicissimo Giani: a journey into the world of the most romantic of neoclassical painters conceived and designed, however, in its layout by the architect and designer < strong>Franco Raggi.

Who will like it: design enthusiasts, those interested in conservative restorations and the curious.

Useful information: Garage Bentivoglio, via del Borgo di San Pietro 3A, Bologna, form Wednesday to saturai 7pm-11pm.