Forty years of experimentation between art, design and architecture, curated by Paola Nicolin, on display at the striking exhibition space in Piacenza

In the former church of Sant'Agostino in Piacenza, a space dedicated to art and design, Volumnia presents the exhibition Michele De Lucchi. With Hands and Mind. Forty years of experimentation between art, design and architecture, from April 6 to June 29. Curated by Paola Nicolin, the exhibition (installation project AMDL Circle - Simona Agabio, project architect Alberto Nason) explores De Lucchi's vast production including architectural models, experimental design objects, sculptures and artworks.

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Art and design, a blurred boundary

The boundary between design and art can be blurred, and this fine nuance varies according to individual interpretations and cultural perspectives. If design is associated with functionality and practical purposes, art is seen as a conceptual and purely creative expression. For several years, Volumnia has been staging moments when design transcends practical function and becomes an art form. Not art that "means," but art that "suggests," if anything, "amplifies."

The Volumnia project

Volumnia was born thanks to Enrica De Micheli, a gallery owner with experience in the world of antiques and design. Opened in 2018, it is an evocative space where art, culture and social life meet and come together, thanks to Enrica's vision and realization. Today it also houses, inside the woodworking shop attached to the old monastery that stood next to the church, the IO restaurant of star chef Luigi Taglienti.

Working in contact with matter

In his artistic career, Michele De Lucchi has made the most intimate "doing" the main source of inspiration: working manually in contact with matter, he freely creates new forms, beyond practical and functional constraints. For the artist, working with the hands allows thought to connect with the physicality of the real world. In this proceeding with hand and mind, the idea becomes a signifying object, pushing beyond the boundaries of the already imagined and the already constructed.

Prototypes and historical pieces

A selection of prototypes and historical pieces, which have become rare over time as they are limited production, tells in the spaces of Volumnia the identity of Produzione Privata, a design workshop founded in 1990 by Michele De Lucchi and Sibylle Kicherer, to give continuity to the Memphis experience and to devise experimental objects, independent from the logic of the market. They are furniture, furnishings and lamps made by artisans, the result of work at the crossroads of art and design.

Sculptures and artworks

The itinerary in Volumnia's spaces continues with the exhibition of objects and artworks, a research started by De Lucchi in 2003 that today counts more than five hundred sculptures, most of them in wood, the author's material of choice. Unique works, evidence of the process that links the search for new forms and architectural concepts to professional projects. Three models of small stone architectures made in 2007 are on display for the occasion. Pencil sketches, tempera drawings and engravings complete the exhibition, offering an overview of the variety of techniques used by the artist to express concepts in nuce, formulate hypotheses, and discover solutions.