Five exhibitions not to be missed this week and why go and see them in Milan, Vicenza, Bologna, Termoli and Venice

There is a subtle irony that accompanies this small selection of events along the peninsula.

Ettore Sottsass is a first-rate exponent who talks about himself in Milan through his words. Often accompanied by drawings and projects, or published in fanzines and magazines, written for conventions and conferences or even in his personal diaries, those words compose a portrait of the man Sottsass and his highly personal gaze on the world.

Bettina Buck then always moves between the serious and the humorous in her performing art and sculpture in a very interesting exhibition in Bologna (hurry up : closes February 19th!).

Arici, the great photographer celebrated in a beautiful retrospective in Venice, then made his irony the engine of many photographic series (without however eliminating his social commitment).

Sub a Termoli speaks of Italian art but created by artists born in South America or Asia who have spent a long time on the peninsula. Why dive? Because it is an underground dimension, which however has shaken our territory in terms of tellurics.

Finally, the industrial architecture of the Venetian Renaissance is on display at the Palladio museum of Vicenza. Can you imagine the territory of Vicenza and Treviso as the Silicon Valley of the 16th century?

Why see them: five different curatorial perspectives tell the world from perspectives that are certainly not mainstream if not unprecedented.

Ettore Sottsass. La Parola, Triennale, Milan, until 2 April

Will lentil soup be the next anxiolytic? Ettore Sottsass jokes about it and chooses it as a tranquilizer for the new millennium.

It was 1999 when he made this drawing ready to mark the transition to the 2000s and now it is on display in this exhibition dedicated to the architect's words. Or rather, the use of the word in his works.

It is an artistic and creative word, it knows how to alter objects, often drawn next to the written part, it knows how to create new worlds, it explains projects, dreams and visions, or it comments on reality.

It is a magical word in some way because it intertwines with drawing, to become an integral part of all his production, even leaving the strictly architectural sphere: there are conferences, articles, posters, fanzines, his personal diaries , lists, stories, confessions, too.

What does this have to do with designing? It is almost always an integral part of it in immediate, always legible and block letters. Speaking clearly seems to be the primary goal of writing about him. Which is thinking aloud.

So on display there is him, the man. As stated by Marco Sammicheli, director of the Triennale museum of Italian Design, «It is a bridge between the grammar visual and poetic, a source of accidental knowledge to instill doubt, to imagine, to discover, complete and above all to keep searching».

Who will like it: poets and creatives, architecture historians, anyone looking for exact words to tell their story.

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

Water, earth, fire. Renaissance industrial architecture in Veneto, Palladio Museum, Vicenza, until March 12.

It was the 1500s and cities such as Schio, Valdagno, Arzignano were already production centers of excellence which positioned, together with other localities, the mainland Veneto at the top of European technological innovation and productivity.

The territory between Vicenza and Treviso was a sort of Silicon Valley that had transformed the countryside into highly efficient factories unrivaled in the world of the time, to produce design and fashion objects that were snapped up in Renaissance Europe.

A world to discover that has a lot to do with the place chosen for the exhibition because if Palladio has managed to create his wonders it is certainly thanks to his genius.

But also, if not above all, of the effects of that 'economic miracle' which profoundly transformed that part of our peninsula in the 16th century.

An interesting exhibition that winds through paintings, maps, drawings, objects, models, books and films, bringing back to life the architecture of the industrial boom together with patents, inventions and Renaissance products.

Who will like it: history buffs, those who prefer interdisciplinary views and vertical descents (for unpublished insights).

Useful information: Palladio Museum, Palazzo Barbarano Contra' Porti, 11 Vicenza, open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

Bettina Buck, Finding Form, Conference Room of Banca di Bologna at Palazzo De' Toschi, until February 19

The public greatly appreciated this exhibition, inaugurated during Art City Bologna, guaranteeing a massive presence around her works.

In fact it is an interesting retrospective which in about twenty works recounts the artistic making of the German sculptor who died in 2018.

Sculptor, yes, but her work is performative, first of all. Both when it is told about her in her being in space to modify it, precisely, through an artistic action, and in her modifying space through sculpture.

Which is always a tension towards a form in the making. The unfinished is infinite, here, in continuous relationship with the artist's body to develop a narrative with grace and irony.

So we see her walking through the English countryside pulling a piece of foam with her that takes on different shapes each time in two videos (Interlude and Antoher Interlude) to then stroll among its columns in industrial material.

They are like fragments of an archeology of the future, along a music made of pauses and counterpoints, to tell her artistic story.

Who will like it: those who look for forms and design them, those who find and transform them, those who never do without irony.

Useful information: Palazzo De' Toschi, piazza Minghetti 4/D, Bologna, open to visitors on Fridays from 5 to 8 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 20.

Sub. Betty Danon, Antonio Dias, Jorge Eduardo Eielson, Hsiao Chin, Tomás Maldonado, Roberto Sebastián Matta, Carmengloria Morales, Hidetoshi Nagasawa, Joaquín Roca-Rey, MACTE, Termoli, February 18 - May 14

What is meant by 'Italian art'? And what did this expression mean after World War II? This exhibition investigates the transnational dimension and the dialogue between the neo-avant-gardes and the artistic experiences of other geographies.

In fact, the exhibited artists were all born in Asia or in South America, they spent long periods in Italy and some then chose to stay there. But they have always been kept on the sidelines by the Italian art system.

This is the reason for this title, sub: an underground dimension that can, however, be at the same time a stimulus and engine of expressive and creative research. Which made inroads into Italy by shaking it for its Eurocentric positions.

The works on display have distant roots, peripheral to the globalized world, in an expansion of the expressive territory, almost always in contrast with the dominant visions.

And this geographical marginality which becomes expressive centrality also has to do with the place of the exhibition and its location on the Italian map.

Who will like it: those who love to look beyond geographical and cultural boundaries.

Useful information: Macte, Via Japan – 86039 Termoli (CB). The exhibition can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 - 13 and 15 - 19.

Graziano Arici. Oltre Venezia Now is the Winter of our Discontent, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, until May 1st

The winter of our discontent is a phrase from Shakespeare's Richard III monologue but it is also the title of a work by Graziano Arici who in 2016, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, created an alienating work: the viewer is faced with an unrecognizable space and time, but in the form of a photograph.

The technique is that of repechage, widely used by the photographer, starting from four plates, to arrive at the single photo product.

Disorientation then raises the question of whether this is, in fact, the winter of our discontent.

The exhibition is composed along this poetic line which investigates various aspects of Arici's production with the choice of nine series created between 1979 and 2020. The world is portrayed in his shots with particular attention to the least, to the marginalized, but also to the irony, carnival, introspection.

Artistic shots that ask the public to get in tune with their author.

Then you will discover a detail, small, discreet, but fundamental because it acts as a common thread between the different topics: the hand.

As Daniel Rouvier, curator of the exhibition set up in Arles wrote in the essay in the catalog – «Consciously or unconsciously, the hand scans the images, without however being a separate subject, treated as such, but sometimes having a primordial importance, both in the composition and as an element of the discourse.

This motif thus seems to create a link between the series, extremely discreet but which gives rise to a possible field of visual exploration». A small expansion of the French exhibition is entrusted to precious photographs of Venice.

Who will like it: photography lovers, those looking for inspiration between old and new technologies, travelers (who even get on board their imagination).

Useful information: Querini Stampalia Foundation, santa Maria Formosa, castle 5252, Venice, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.