Five exhibitions not to be missed and why go and see them in Milan, Florence, Reggio Emilia and Como

The border between real and imaginary does not exist. Or rather, there is, clearly, but it is often fleeting, sometimes it disappears or shows itself in all its ambivalence, almost as if it were an invitation to leave reality in favor of the fantastic. Or the fairytale, the poetic, the dreamlike.

And these five exhibitions tell about five ways of relating to that essential part of everyone's everyday life.

Lisa Ponti, Gio's daughter from whom she seems to have inherited not only the gaze on the world but also the stroke, light and ironic as well as playful, presents her direct line with the imaginary which she translates into drawings in A4, including watercolors, poems, collages and illustrations (at the Milan Triennale for the last week!).

Ico and Luisa Parisi echo her, a formidable couple who have made their artistic expression of work in a continuous dialogue between the serious and the humorous, between the classic and the pop, along a very personal and profound on the poor arts. Their glass and ceramics are on display in Como (Civic Art Gallery) until the end of the month.

On the other hand, Leandro Elrich, the Argentine artist of public performance, completely jumped over the border and entered the fantastic world together, for the first time in a systematic exhibition at the Royal Palace of Milan. His multimedia works tell of impossible reflections, of flying houses, of magnet facades and of a newspaper so well known as to be absolutely unknown.

A space-time leap then takes us to the Tuscany of Guido Ferroni who painted it in the twentieth century to give a metaphysical, almost cinematographic portrait we could say today, between the fairytale and the chronicle in the first retrospective dedicated to him ( Palazzo Pitti in Florence).

Finally, the word belongs to the photographs of Massimiliano Camellini who recount the transformation of secular places into places of worship. Sacred and profane coexist, as well as the past and the present of spaces often linked to the world of work, then transformed into prayer rooms for different religions.

A detail for the whole, that of the necessary and unstoppable urban transformations, such as integration, dialogue and the possibility of expressing one's identity (Binario 49 in Reggio Emilia).

Why see them: the leitmotif of these exhibitions is the relationship with the fantastic often so important as to involve the public in the search for personal answers or answers linked to the exhibited works.

Subverting habits, overturning conventions and looking for alternative ways to designing mean that design changes shape, to reach the unusual. That's why go and see them: they are a journey into the unusual.

Lisa Ponti. Drawings and voices, Triennale Milano, until May 7

The subtle and poetic line of Lisa Ponti's drawings recalls words. Maybe whispered, or said in a calm voice, to pronounce intimate thoughts, light and deep together. And in fact, the words often accompany her drawings, all rigorously on A4 sheets, to give them a voice, or perhaps it is the reverse: the drawings give body to the thoughts. In any case, she lands, as the author herself said, all on the same format.

An attempt at order, perhaps at rationality, certainly an expressive choice: «It's good to use a sheet that is always the same», said Lisa Ponti, «so the drawing knows where to land». Because it is in those measures that the magic happens.

Always in her words: «Within the standard, the minimum reduces the immense to the distance between the signs». On display are about 70 works including drawings and watercolours, all in a fairy-tale, dreamlike and ironic dimension, perhaps accompanied by some poetry and some collages, all by the Milanese artist.

While the profession of critic in the magazines Stile and Domus accompanies the visitor: her writings are read by the actress Ginestra Paladino and disseminated in the exhibition space. An immersion in the fantastic of Lisa Ponti, the author who lived for over 80 years in the house in via Randaccio designed for the family by her father Gio.

Who will like it: to poets and illustrators, to those who love Gio Ponti's decorations.

Useful information: Triennale, viale Alemagna 6, Milan open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 8pm.

Parisi universe. The vases and ceramics of Ico and Luisa, Pinacoteca Civica di Como, until May 28

These are the last days available to see this exhibition dedicated to the creative universe of Ico and Luisa Parisi set up in the halls of the Civic Art Gallery of Como with the curatorship of Roberta Lietti.

And the exhibition deserves attention because, through a hundred works by the two artist spouses, it recounts their research on the minor arts, local craftsmanship, glass, ceramics and furnishings. Thus, already in the mid-1960s, the first projects of vases in Murano glass were born, with an elementary and essential shape, made by Barovier&Toso.

On display, the first glass designed by Parisi in 1956 and reworked in the 1970s: a tall cylindrical floor vase supported by a brushed steel base. Then there are the "Luisa cachepots", a series of buckets in transparent blue, green, white glass played on the relationship between diameter and height and the "cruel glasses", small works of art based on the contrast of materials, of which the 'hyper-realistic "polenta" in yellow glass paste, complete with fork included.

The meeting with Pompeo Pianezzola marks the era of ceramics produced by Zanolli&Sebellin, for which the creative duo designs a series of pop objects. From the colored cubes that overlap, to the 'Bocca' vase with contrasting red lips on a white background or the 'Impront' bowl which reproduces, positively and negatively, the drawing of a hand.

The journey continues until we reach the ceramic series created in collaboration with Giorgio Robustelli's Fornace Ibis: cups, plates, tureens (broken, with holes in them, folded, all deliberately unusable) up to the radio (Zanuso's "Cube") inhabited by grotesque characters, disturbing and ironic creatures, together with other glass objects such as glasses - flowers, animals, fantastic characters created thanks to the meeting with Pino Signoretto.

Who will like it: those who love grafts between art and design, where planning and creativity work together to create curious objects capable of narrating the present time.

Useful information: Civic art gallery, via Diaz 84, Como. The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

Leandro Elrich. Beyond the Threshold, Palazzo Reale, Milan, until 4 October< /h2>
What if the verticality of the buildings that make up the urban fabric were suddenly trampled on? Was it, better to say, explorable in an anti-gravity walk by citizens?

Then it could also happen that houses fly and that elevators are ready to transport people nowhere as well as escalators to tangle their ribbons of retractable steps in a chaotic tangle of imaginary streets.

This is done by Elrich, an Argentine artist who subverts all conventions through large-scale public art performances and now for the first time collected in an anthological exhibition. His landscape or perhaps it is better to say his thinking about space becomes a subversive project. In the literal sense: because he breaks the rules (even those of physics) to show other worlds, other views.

“I construct visual stories from everyday life that evoke a set of ordinary circumstances, rooted in reality and shared experience, but that don't work as expected,” says Elrich.

Which he then continues: «I like to develop projects that push the public beyond the conceptual threshold and I like working with a variety of media and expressive modalities». Yes, the threshold. You go beyond it and you enter another reality. That of Elrich, of his art, understood as a «means to cultivate new approaches to understanding the world, physical, mental, political, symbolic».

We will like it: those who love to play, those who follow the threads of the imagination like kites, those interested in space and multimedia art.

Useful information: Palazzo Reale, piazza del Duomo 12, Milan, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 - 19.30, Thursday until 22.30.

A ribbon and a prayer. From secular spaces to sacred places. Photographs by Massimiliano Camellini, Binario 49, Reggio Emilia, until 11 June

The change of intended use in this case is decisive. It completely distorts the places from what their previous histories have been, because from homes, warehouses, warehouses, commercial spaces or spaces used for leisure, they have become places of worship. They are places forced by economic paradigms to cease their functions and redeemed by religious communities who have given them new life and new life by transforming them into spaces for prayer.

The previous dimension, often linked to work, emerges in residual details, on the walls, in the composition of the ceilings or through marks left on the floor by machinery that has now disappeared.

They are almost chasms, as the curator Andrea Tinterri writes, occupied by religious communities often from outside Europe but not only, who transform them into places full of symbols and religious objects.

And Massimiliano Camellini portrays these stories, and that of a necessary reuse, which speaks the languages of the present: that of urban redevelopment and its spaces, that of migrants and minorities, who need spaces to express their community, that of integration is that of the photographer who hires a report on the cultures of others.

Who will like it: photography lovers, those who study the anthropology of the present and urban planners.

Useful information: Platform 49 Caffè Letterario, via Turri 49, Reggio Emilia, open Friday and Saturday 6 - 10 pm, Sunday 5 - 9 pm.

Guido Ferroni 1888 - 1979. The ancient feeling of painting, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, until July 16

The early twentieth century in Guido Ferroni's Tuscany. Little is known about this important painter as the founder of the Tuscan Novecento group, but also as an exponent of a local metaphysics recognizable in the traits of a line that connects him to Sironi and De Chirico, which however has its peculiar trait in the Tuscan lights.

Impressionism first and then futurism enter his expressive sphere to arrive at a very personal expressive system, always connected to the landscape and daily life of his lands until 1979, the year of his death.

And now, finally, a retrospective recounts the personal and artistic events of this fortunate self-taught artist, soon welcomed in group exhibitions in Tuscany, then in Milan and in various editions of the Venice Biennale, as well as holder of two professorships, one in Ravenna and one in Lucca.

In fact, much of his teaching also shines through in his works and his two lives are told through writings and documents made available by Duccio Ferroni, the artist's nephew, alongside important loans from private collections and galleries.

Like La giostra, a work from 1920: a fairy tale in pictorial format, between metaphysics and news, which recalls Sironi as much as Collodi, halfway between the everyday and the fantastic.

Who will like it: lovers of early 20th century painting, those who want to travel through time and the imagination.

Useful information: Palazzo Pitti, Sala del Fiorino, piazza de' Pitti 1, Florence, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15am to 6.30pm