Termoli, Rome, Venice, Milan and Savona host designers, architects, artists and curators who bring visionary worlds to the stage in must-see exhibitions

We start from Termoli to enter the invisible city, Ersilia, that of Italo Calvino, which finds shape in an artistic project aimed at talking about the political role of the imagination (at MACTE).

Then we reach Milan which hosts two exhibitions, the one dedicated to the house by Formafantasma who this time prefer the decorative in favor of a sentimental place of living (ICA Foundation ) and the one dedicated to simplicity in Japanese design, along 20 ways of telling it (ADI Design).

Venice offers a precious preview of the retrospective that Triennale dedicates to Mendini centered on a mini collection of objects and drawings around the theme of the face (Fondazione Cini), while the MAXXI in Rome brings together a series of female artists to discuss the theme of space understood as an artistic territory.

Finally, a small gem from the ceramic museum of Savona: the carpets of Arturo Martini, rediscovered and exhibited in an exhibition of textiles and plastic art with an unexpected comparison with the contemporary in the works of Alessandro Teoldi. Have a nice trip!

Ersilia. Practicing elsewhere, edited by Alice Labor and Ginevra Ludovici, Macte - Museum of Contemporary Art of Termoli, until June 1

A group of artists tries to give physical form to the imaginary city of the book Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, or rather, to materialize that city, Ersilia. Subsequently to a work inspired by this city but created in the form of a podcast, the museum is now hosting a series of activations to reflect on the political value of imagination and its ability to transform reality.

They are Aterraterra, Pietro Ballero, Beatrice Celli, Anouk Chambaz, Allison Grimaldi Donahue, Eleonora Luccarini, Alice Pontiggia, Perla Sardella, Teresa Satta and VacuaMoenia, the artists who imagined the places, the inhabitants and the living conditions in Ersilia between multiple disciplines and languages, to be experimented with the active participation of the public.

Two workshops are scheduled for May 18th and 25th, respectively with the Aterraterra and Vacua Moenia collectives.

Who will like it: those who loved Italo Calvino's book, those who like to get lost in cities, experimenters.

Useful information: Macte, via Parigi 86039 Termoli, open from Wednesday to Saturday 10am-1pm and 3pm-7pm.

GhostForma. The house inside, Ica Foundation, Milan, from 10 April to 19 July

An investigation into the home space, the place of living understood as a physical territory and that of human relationships, as a land of personal identity and collective memory. To do this, the curator Alberto Salvadori presents an unpublished project by Formafantasma which in the title, The house inside, exposes a psychological and introspective idea to be sought in the homes of one's childhood, in I remember.

The things that inhabited those spaces, decorative objects often handmade, contain emotional memories and are at risk of extinction.

Because what is brought to the stage is a comparison, or rather a clash between the modernist idea of rationality and sobriety - which according to Formafantasma tends to erase the sentimental elements and dimension from the living space domestic - with decorative elements capable of awakening individual memories and memories. An emblematic element of modernism, the metal tubing, thus dialogues with made embroidery
by hand, painted floral motifs and silk ruffles in site-specific works.

Who will like it: those who love playing with contrasts, decorative enthusiasts.

Useful information: Fondazione Ica, via Orobia 26, open from Thursday to Saturday from 12pm to 7pm; Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm.

Arturo Martini. The plot of dreams. Fabrics, ceramics, paintings. Savona Ceramics Museum, until 15 July

The textile production of the creative, histrionic and eclectic artist Arturo Martini was unknown. Or rather, there were signed sketches that indicated the workmanship of some carpets, but there was no certainty that they had actually been produced. Then, as always by chance, they reappeared thanks to a private collection, and research proved their authenticity.

These are Ofelia,Il Viglione and Il Circo/I acrobat – three subjects, each of which developed in two different variations - made in the early 1920s for MITA, Manifattura Italiana Tappeti Artistici of Genoa Nervi which in turn produced them for the newly founded furniture company DIANA - Decorazioni Industrie Artistiche Nuovi Arredamenti by the architect Mario Labò.

Three gems, the genesis of which can be seen, from the design to the preparatory sketch for the loom, up to its birth in the form of a carpet. The exhibition then offers a delve into Martini's world by placing these works alongside the plastic ones - in ceramic, bronze, terracotta and plaster - and the pictorial ones, composing his very personal plot of dreams.

Which however is put into dialogue with an exhibition, in the adjacent rooms, of a contemporary artist: Alessandro Teoldi. His works, including textile and ceramic works, in fact, propose a new vision and a new interpretation of those expressive means. </ P>

The series of small sculptures created by Teoldi right in Albissola, Martini's creative territory, acts as a plastic echo to his stitched paintings, which are also very material, which speak of an intimate dimension of the encounter with the other - or with the others - through figures cut out of airline blankets and reassembled on canvas, for the title Essere Uno (in collaboration with the Capsule Shanghai and Marinaro New York galleries).

Who will like it: those who are passionate about applied arts and textiles, those who love vertical immersions in the history of a territory.

Useful information: Savona Ceramics Museum, via A. Aonzo 9, open Friday and Saturday 9.30am - 1pm and 3.30pm - 6.30pm; Sunday 9.30am - 5pm; Monday 9.30am - 1pm.

ENVIRONMENTS 1956-2010. Environments by Women Artists II, Maxxi, Rome, from 10 April to 20 October

Second chapter of an exhibition conceived in 2023 by the Haus Der Kunst of Munich, this exhibition, curated by Andrea Lissoni< /strong>, Marina Pugliese and Francesco Scotti, recounts the female contribution to the history of a decidedly little-researched expressive form: the environments .

That is, those spaces that are activated thanks to the interaction of the public and are completed, in their becoming three-dimensional and immersive works, with the human presence.

So what is space, that environment in which we move, live and relate to others? To answer this question, MAXXI expands the research up to 2010 from the previous 1976 and to the artists already present in that first exhibition experiment adds a series of more recent artists in an attempt to involve the visitor as an active part in an exchange between art, museum space and society. Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Laura Grisi, Aleksandra Kasuba, Léa Lublin, Marta Minujín, Tania Mouraud, Nanda Vigo, Tsuruko Yamazaki are joined in this second chapter by Micol Assaël, Monica Bonvicini, Kimsooja, Christina Kubisch, Nalini Malani, Pipilotti Rist, Martha Rosler and Esther Stocker.

Who will like it: art-loving architects, those who believe in participation and dialogue

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

Alessandro Mendini. Visi, Manica Lunga Library, Cini Foundation, Venice, until June 16

A surprising and precious small exhibition is the one that the Mendini Archive and Codiceicona have developed for the Venetian library: fourteen objects and six drawings that investigate the face as a source of design research.

In his notes Alessandro Mendini talks about the face as a means and a primary phenomenon of self-design, because «the face is a place >, a pictorial support, a decorative surface, a basic element of the project of the "sense" of every person, of every man as an actor on the world stage".

Analyst of himself as Aldo Colnnetti writes in the text that accompanies the exhibition, Mendini is attracted by anthropomorphism which influences shapes and objects designed and produced by him in a design process with a high level of creativity. This small capsule of projects from 1987 to 2018 anticipates the large retrospective that Triennale Milano inaugurates on April 13.

Who will like it: those who avoid rigid definitions and categories in which to channel design, in favor of total art.

Useful information: Library of the Manica Lunga Cini Foundation, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, open to the public on reservation 

Origin of Simplicity. 20 visions of Japanese design, ADI Design Museum, Milan, until 9 June

It's easy to talk about simplicity, especially if this feature concerns Japanese design. But it would be a decidedly superficial attitude, distracted from the true essence of this word in the culture of the rising sun: simple is something extremely complex.

And the exhibition curated by Rossella Menegazzo with an installation project by Kenya Hara speaks to us about this complex simplicity strong>, who have chosen to express simplicity through 20 themes, in turn interpreted by designers of different generations.

An interesting work of research from the 1950s to today for 150 pieces that tell of simplicity, its deep roots in Japanese culture and its expression in objects of everyday use. p>

But it's not enough. That simplicity also relates to the Italian design of the room that hosts the exhibition, set up in a central island, surrounded by works awarded with the Compasso d'Oro up until the 1980s. Then you will discover new or perhaps unexpected dialogues.

Who will like it: design enthusiasts and lovers of Japanese philosophy.

Useful information: ADI Design Museum, Piazza Compasso d'Oro 1, Milan, open from Monday to Sunday 10.30am - 8pm.

Cover photo: MAXXI, Ambienti, Aleksandra Kasuba, Courtesy: HausDerKunst, Ph. Constantin Mirbach