Florence, Rome, Milan, Ravenna, Faenza: from ceramics to brutalist micro-architectures via industrial design, here are 5 exhibitions not to be missed this autumn

For lovers of design and architecture, the calendar of unmissable exhibitions for autumn 2023 is full of events around Italy.

Design is the leitmotif of this selection of autumn exhibitions which immediately lead us, from 1 September, to the discovery of contemporary ceramic production in one of its historic homelands, Faenza, which however also proposes itself as a place for dialogue between this art and communication graphics.

A great world-famous artist then arrives in Italy for the first time with a one-man show in Florence whose project is the dialogue between East and West: it is Wang Guangyi who at Palazzo Pitti brings works never exhibited before and some site specific creations.

Alberto Meda is then the protagonist of an exhibition at the Milan Triennale which talks about his design for lightness, while Ravenna hosts an unusual challenge between mosaic and industrial design in the creations by six designers who conceive objects of common use in mosaics.

Photographer George Tatge portrays a metaphysical Italy through his black and white shots focused solely on architecture: what does it mean to design? It seems the unavoidable question in front of the photos of him on display in Foligno.

But let's start with two appointments to take on the fly.

September 16, in Bergamo: a biking night to discover the contemporary architecture of lower Bergamo

An unprecedented journey to discover the brutalism of the city Capital of culture is scheduled for 16 September with Velonotte and the Bergamo Architects Foundation, the PPC Architects Order of Bergamo and the Municipality of Bergamo. The program is greedy: you pedal along an itinerary that Le Corbusier would like to discover architectural marvels that are usually invisible or little known, amidst stories and music. All information on https://www.velonotte.com/

Festival Cabanes at Villa Medici, Rome, until October 1st.

For the second year, Villa Medici is hosting the festival dedicated to microarchitectures, temporary installations and proto-housing. And it is transformed into a playground of the mind, of designing and of creative and sustainable invention. In the park there are seven original and contemporary creations of the idea of hut signed by the architecture and design studios ArchiSculpteurs, Atelier CRAFT, Atelier Poem, Aurel Design Urbain, Nelson Wilmotte Architectes, offset and horizontal. You have until October 1st to see them. All information here

Faenza Mia/In dialogue, Faenza ceramic space, from 1 September to 1 October

The art of designing has to do with that of dialogue (an observation that has also guided us in this selection of exhibitions not to be missed). So in Faenza ceramics confronts itself with communication in an exhibition that involves ceramic artists and the students of the ISIA graphic design course. The dialogue actually proceeds on multiple levels. In addition to the first which concerns the method of communicating the current world of artistic ceramics, questions are raised about the relationship between the materiality of the ceramic product and its two-dimensional transposition in advertising billboards , on the project in the various declinations of the two disciplines, on the communicative capacity of the actual exhibition, set up in the space dedicated to the artefacts and its life outside, entrusted precisely to graphics. In short, a thinking about the project seen by over 30 realities of Faenza ceramics and eleven young graphic designers.

Who will like it: enthusiasts of ceramics and the infinite faces of this material, those looking for connections between different disciplines.
Useful information: Spazio Ceramica Faenza , via Pistocchi 16, open from Tuesday to Thursday from 4.30pm to 7.30pm; from Friday to Sunday from 10 - 13 and 15.30 - 19.30.

Wang Guangyi, Obscured Existence, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, from September 7 to December 10.

For the first time in Italy the works of Wang Guangyi arrive, an artist known throughout the world for his close and sometimes even extreme dialogue between East and West. Already welcomed at the Venice Biennale in 2013, the Manchurian artist is now presenting a large retrospective curated by Eike Schmidt and Demetrio Paparoni, which includes 28 paintings never exhibited in the West, made from 2014 to today. To make the exhibition even more special are some custom-made paintings for Palazzo Pitti as reinterpretations of some masterpieces kept in the Uffizi. Wang Guangyi's work therefore also reveals itself through the history of our world, in an interesting and sometimes surprising encounter.

Who will like it: those who love painting exhibitions and are interested in discovering points of view that are different from their own.
Useful information: Andito degli Angiolini in Palazzo Pitti , piazza de' Pitti 1, Florence, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 - 18.30.

Alberto Meda, Tension and lightness, Triennale Milano, from 6 October to 7 January 2024

To describe the work of Alberto Meda we need to refer to lightness. What is meant by this term? Meda has tried to answer this question over the more than forty years of his professional career, declining lightness in every project, first of all from a visual and constructive point of view. Perhaps for this reason the project of the immaterial component of light and the concept of comfort are part of his poetics. Light (also the latter), functional, evolved. Thus Triennale Milano proposes an exhibition that unfolds along these concepts to stage the Meda-thought in an exhibition dedicated to the designer, planner and engineer who had addressed the idea of "concrete lightness" in one of his books.

Who will like it: those who love exhibitions with a focus on design research and those seeking insights into the history of Italian design.
Useful information: Triennale Milano, viale Alemagna 6, open every day from 11 to 20.

Episodes of contemporary mosaic, Palazzo Rasponi delle Teste, Ravenna, from 14 October to 14 January 2024

The challenge is high. Because we are talking about contemporary mosaic and industrial design, with the aim of creating objects for use and for furnishings decorated with the art of ancient stone or glass tiles. It was launched by Maria Cristina Didero, curator of the exhibition as part of the mosaic biennial in Ravenna and six designers and creatives welcomed her. The result is exhibited at Palazzo Rasponi delle Teste next to the works by two great artists who reinterpreted the use of mosaic in the 20th century, Alessandro Mendini and Gaetano Pesce. This reopens a new scene for the mosaic technique, aimed at decorating the present. At the end of the exhibition period, the objects, ready to compete in mass production, will enrich the section dedicated to design of the MAR Museum's collection of modern and contemporary mosaics.

Who will like it: those looking for ways to tie the threads between ancient traditions and new technologies, millenary techniques and new applications, in a comparison between the remote and recent past.
Useful information: Palazzo Rasponi delle Teste , piazza Kennedy, Ravenna, open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 to 18, Sunday and holidays from 14 to 18.

George Tatge, Metaphysical Italy, Italian Center for Contemporary Art, Foligno, until October 8

The architectural and metaphysical face of Italy is captured in the photographic portraits made by George Tatge, now on display in Foligno. It is a real journey along the peninsula in 66 black and white shots for a story among the buildings and man-made artifacts. Those that he lived in, those in which he worked, those that he used and then abandoned. Those who tell the story of a place and its evolution, in a continuous confrontation between past and present in an attempt to understand the future. Metaphysics is precisely in the enigmatic living of the present and in its representation. Whether it's rigorous buildings from the Roman era or anonymous condominiums in the urban suburbs, imposing Renaissance churches or desolating abandoned factories, Tatge shows a trace, an imprint. Thus he proposes unexpected fragments and juxtapositions that are open to the interpretation of the beholder.

Who will like it: enthusiasts of photography exhibitions, those seeking different perspectives on architecture and perhaps even on Italy.
Useful information: Centro Italiano Arte Contemporanea, Via del Campanile 13, Foligno, open from Thursday to Sunday 10.30-13 and 15.30-19.