Venice, Milan, Brindisi, Varese and Monza host the gazes of photographers, designers, architects and visionary artists. Here are the exhibitions of the month

The exhibitions to see in November are all focused on invention. Whether it is planning, artistic or educational, the common thread that unites them is the creative one.

In fact, the journey between the exhibitions unfolds along the photographs of Candida Höfer, who gives voice to a dreamlike architecture, the artistic proposals of Sarah Sze > and Sara Enrico, who make up an immersive territory in which to experience their works and the drawings of Andrea Branzi , which addresses the theatrical world as a seminal tool for architectural design.

And again, this time in an area that reflects a more classic idea of design, we walk through the history of the builder Antonio Bassanini, who created buildings that modified the Italian landscape, the objects designed by Gabriella Crespi for modular and always moving living, 28 artists who have rethought the idea of a watering can (and water saving) and the teaching of an art school among the most important on the Italian scene in the post-war period. Good vision!

Candida Höfer, Inside Italian Architecture, Patricia Low Venezia, until 26 November

The gaze of photographer Candida Höfer has always been focused on the scenic composition of empty public spaces. In this way she also portrays Italian architecture, to be precise public buildings and theatres, to describe the space ready to come alive or to resume itself after welcoming the citizens.

The photographic composition is scenic, perfect, studied down to the smallest details to leave nothing to chance (or to the public?). Then those spaces become almost abstract, guardians of time and beauty: the light, natural or present in the places to be portrayed, tells of the passage of time. Because the exposure is always prolonged in order to accommodate transparencies and reflections that transform the place from profane to sacred.

There are Villa Borghese in Rome, the La Fenice theater in Venice, Palazzo Vecchio in Florence for example. All places with a hieratic face, but full of expectation. Of those who will come, in the story of those who have already been there.

Who will like it: those who love architectural photography and those who love theater: these shots seem to be taken just before the show goes on stage!

Useful information: Patricia Low Venezia, Palazzo Contarini Michiel - Dorsoduro 2793, Venice, open to visitors from Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 6pm, until 26 November.

The parsimony of water, Ribezzo Archaeological Museum, Brindisi, from 17 November to 6 December

The title is clear: it is an invitation to take care of blue gold. Talking about it is the watering can, the absolute protagonist of this exhibition curated by Cintya Concari and Roberto Marcatti together with Bottega Branca >.

As the curators explain, this object is an «extraordinary ally in the practices of relating with the earth, with the crops, with nature», this time interpreted by 28 different artists who started from a single object , a traditional Salento terracotta, «exalting its function to urge communities and people to reconsider their relationship with the "good" most dear and essential to life: water».

To be used, precisely sparingly, the key word of the exposition: «"Parsimony" is a magic word, little loved and little used, a 'virtue' that would help us to take shelter, if accepted and made practical of life. (…)

Having parsimony means knowing how to preserve and, what asset today is more in need of protection, accuracy, sobriety, a new awareness in its use if not water?

The exhibition is itinerant to visit the different exhibition locations of the Biblio-museum center of the Puglia region. Currently underway in Taranto (until November 6th at the Acclavio Library), La parsimonia dell'acqua arrives in Brindisi after mid-November.

Who will like it: who seeks contamination between art and design, between creativity and everyday objects.

Useful information: Francesco Ribezzo Archaeological Museum, Piazza Duomo 7, Brindisi, from 17 November to 6 December, open to visitors from Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm.

Antonio Bassanini Builder of the Twentieth Century, Masnago Castle, Varese, from 10 November to February 4

Antonio Bassanini was a great builder. Or rather, he was the trait d'union between design and construction thanks to the use of innovative materials, cutting-edge machinery, the study of particular construction techniques and an "excellent entrepreneurial organization" .

These are perhaps the traits that best define the work of Bassanini, collaborator of the architects and engineers Zacchi, Figini and Pollini, Portaluppi, Gio Ponti, Muzio and, subsequently, Mattioni, Caccia Dominioni, Soncini and Magistretti, creating buildings that have the face of Italy has changed.

This exhibition curated by Chiara Bassanini, Giovanna Franco Repellini and Andrea Strambio de Castillia illustrates all this, but also Bassanini's personality.

Historic and recent photographs, video documents, projects, sketches and models of the Bassanini Technical Office or of the architects and engineers with whom he collaborated tell the story of the personal events of the builder (who from his villa in Varese helped several Jewish families reach Switzerland during the Second World War) and his work in Lombardy and throughout Italy, including urban, public, industrial and religious buildings.

Who will like it: Fans of the history of Italian architecture and entrepreneurship will find very interesting documents to (re)discover a figure who is perhaps still little known in the world of construction.

Useful information: Masnago Castle (Va), Via Cavour, 32 Varese, from 10 November to 4 February, open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 6pm.

Andrea Branzi, Architecture belongs to the theatre, Antonia Jannone Architectural Drawings , Milan, until November 30

Visiting this exhibition today is both moving and necessary: Andrea Branzi in fact passed away a few days after the opening, leaving the gallery public with a profound story about himself and his idea of architecture. The title Architecture belongs to the theatre, brings to the stage masks, puppets and marionettes, puppets and marionettes, the circus and the stage of the happy world of comedies.

Branzi is inspired by the great painters to tell it in a series of works created in the 2000s, including the sets by Buratti (2019 -20), the drawings of the Nursery Rhymes(2020) and Bluebeard(2002).

Alongside these drawings there are also some works from the Archetypes collection, theoretical mental models deposited in the collective unconscious and non-obvious anthropological material which in architecture has to do with building. Among these also appears the Velasca Tower, an archetype to be reinvented.

Because, in the words of Branzi, «today civil architecture is experiencing a crisis of credibility, in the sense that its relationship with society has progressively worn out; in turn, the company is experiencing a profound crisis and is no longer able to provide frameworks of values to the project". A journey into the imagination, a dive into the philosophy of architecture, a leap into Branzi-thought. To be seen.

Who will like it: who believes that designing is an activity linked to the human soul. To be investigated, between the serious and the facetious.

Useful information: Antonia Jannone Architecture Drawings Gallery, Corso Garbiladi 125 Milan, open from Monday to Saturday from 3.30pm - 7.30pm (in the morning by appointment). Until November 30th.

ISIA Academy. 1922 - 1943, when designers wore ties, House of the Humiliated - Civic Museums of Monza, from November 10th to January 28th

Who were the designers with the tie? They were the students who attended the Istituto Superiore di Industrie Artistiche di Monza in its brief - but fundamental - existence.

The years between 1922 and 1943are those of the Institute founded on the inspiration of the German Bauhaus and among the most important and active schools of art and design in Italy in the early post-war period, which tell a teaching, a passion and a way of designing with which painters, sculptors and graphic designers were trained.

From the classrooms of ISIA came artists such as Costantino Nivola – who later emigrated to the United States where he became an established sculptor – and Giovanni Pintori, art director for Olivetti > from 1938 to 1968, who signed advertising material of all kinds at an international level for the famous Ivrea company: posters, pages, signs.

The exhibition tells all of this between original material and video installations, in an interesting comparison between past and present. Curated by Alberto Crespi, the exhibition was created in collaboration with Vertigo Syndrome.

Who will like it: teachers, students, creatives, historians.

Useful information: Casa degli Umiliati - Civic Museums of Monza, via Teodolinda 4, Monza, from 10 November to 28 January open from Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 1pm and 3pm - 6pm; Thursday evening opening from 8pm to 11pm.

Sarah Sze, Metronome; Sara Enrico, Tainted Lovers, OGR Torino, from 3 November to 10 December

Two young artists arrive at the former tracks of the OGR of Turin with two solo exhibitions that recount their artistic research. Two visions and two techniques that are decidedly different, yet in dialogue with each other, ready to provide a possible reading of the contemporary.

The American Sarah Sze with her exhibition entitled Metronome opens her first solo show in a public institution in Italy by bringing her research on the generative process of image creation to the stage. It was the end of the 90s when Sze began to develop a dynamic language that could describe the incessant flow of information of contemporary life through constellations of objects and proliferation of images.

Sara Enrico, on the other hand, works on the manipulation of different materials, from concrete to fabric to foam rubber, questioning herself and the public on the meaning of perception.

The exhibition compares different materials and forms, presenting unpublished interconnections of a sophisticated modeling of matter that immerses the viewer in an almost tactile vision of her work. The OGR space thus presents two visions, two artistic experiences with a common objective: to create an immersive territory in which to welcome the public.

Who will like it: lovers of artistic, exhibition and conceptual experimentation.

Useful information: OGR Torino, Corso Castelfidardo 22, Turin, from 3 November to 10 December, open every day from 9am to midnight.

Gabriella Crespi, Nilufar, Milan, from 25 October to 25 January

Gabriella Crespi is known for her works between art and design, above all we know her infallible ability to transform geometric simplicity into works of art functional and the choice of evocative materials such as bamboo, rattan and bronze.

All of her objects speak of her inventiveness and her meticulous attention to craftsmanship, whose visual and tactile scope could only involve the public, even in a revisitation of the space that would welcome them.

Crespi plays with her creations, perhaps making them modular and transformable, always versatile. This exhibition presents a collection of the designer's creations, in an attempt to answer the question, as simple as it is essential: what makes the charm of Gabriella Crespi's works so lasting? L architect and critic Joseph Grima, curator of the exhibition, responds thus: «Crespi's creations emerge as timeless reminders that true creativity is not necessarily a function of his era, or of any era».

Who will like it: enthusiasts of design, craftsmanship and research into materials.

Useful information: Galleria Nilufar, via della Spiga 32, Milan, open until 25 January, from Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 7pm.