The Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, showed a special gifted exhibition section on “Technology and Materials” of which a number of items were supplied from the earlier “Trame ” exhibition ( design / art / material / technology ) at the end of 2014.
We have decided to feature below the complete ” Trame” exhibition as shown at the Triennale di Milano in Nov 2014 – as it represents a substantially more complete “Copper story” than that done by the Museo di Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition ( which only concentrated on the mechanical / technical side ) during the Salone in April, 2015.
Many of the pieces in the Trame show are on loan from the major museums, galleries and private collections in Italy and Europe, a fact indicative of the thorough research which constituted the essence of Trame – Copper Crossings.
Copper, interpreted in all its multiple forms and applications, is the main theme of Copper Crossings – Copper Shapes in Contemporary Art, Design, Technology and Architecture presented at Triennale di Milano.
The concept of the exhibition is by Elena Tettamanti and is coproduced with Eight Art Project – a company set up to produce projects in contemporary art and in design – together with Triennale di Milano, Triennale Design Museum and Istituto Italiano del Rame with the patronage of the European Copper Institute.
This is the first exhibition looking at copper from a different point of view thanks to an interdisciplinary approach represented with more than 250 pieces representative of sectors of the exhibition
Copper Crossings is a journey through works of art, design and architecture, applications in science and technology together with photos and videos where copper is the leit motiv.
Different names find in this material a common ground to work according to their personal experiences exploiting in the most innovative ways the formal, structural and plastic qualities of copper.
The 30 works shown in the section devoted to contemporary art represent the most important post-war art movements, from Arte Povera to Minimal Art up until the latest artistic trends.
In the design section more than 100 objects designed by the top names in the sector.
Architecture is explored through 10 scale models representing the work of some of the greatest architects and finally a section dedicated to technology featuring applications on IT, medical equipments, energy conduction and transportation.
The works in the contemporary art section testify the power of attraction copper had throughout the years and the different movements using shiny, oxidised or acidated plates as well as weaved wires, delicate shapes and unexpected combinations with other materials or reflecting parabolas.
Historical works have been selected, by Lucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti, Carl Andre, Marco Bagnoli, Joseph Beuys, Luciano Fabro, Anselm Kiefer, Eliseo Mattiacci, Marisa Merz, Hidetoshi Nagasawa, Remo Salvadori, Gilberto Zorio, Meg Webster; the “most contemporary” include Roni Horn, Cristina Iglesias, Damián Ortega as well as artists of last generations like Andrea Sala, Alicja Kwade and Danh Vo, to mention a few.
Some of the pieces have not been shown to the public for quite some time, some others have been specifically realised for the exhibition.
All the pieces have been lent by important museums like MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano; Museion – Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea, Bolzano; Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan; Fondazione Merz, Turin; Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Panza Collection, Varese; Ca’ Pesaro, Venice; Archivio Luciano e Carla Fabro, Milan; Casa-studio di Fernando Melani, Pistoia; as well as by the artists themselves, private collectors and galleries.
In the world of design copper has aroused great interest, particularly in recent times, with surprising and original outcomes.
Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Antonio Citterio, Dimore Studio, Tom Dixon, Odoardo Fioravanti, Martí Guixé, Gujan Gupta, Poul Henningsen, Thomas Heatherwick, Shiro Kuramata, Ross Lovegrove, Nucleo, Gio Ponti/Paolo De Poli, Tobia Scarpa, Ettore Sottsass, Oskar Zieta and Giorgio Vigna, to mention a few, have designed and created common household objects due to their attraction to shine of copper, its oxidation and technological applications.
The elegant “Copper Shade 45” by Tom Dixon, a product not only nice aesthetically but also high-technology from the point of view of materials, created by placing a thin layer of pure metal on a polycarbonate surface in the shape of a globe, this lamp turns into an extremely elegant and luminous, thanks to its highly reflective surface that emits a metallic glow hot.
“Anechoic Wall” by Laurent Grasso, an artistic play of light reflecting on the bent copper sheets, belongs to the universe of art, while numerous architectural models narrate the pliability, lightness and translucency of copper in building design.
The copper sofa “How High the Moon” by the Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata explores soft shapes made by hard materials in furniture design.
A selection of objects of design on loan from European museums and galleries will be presented together with some clothes designed by Romeo Gigli and Prada, who have experimented with the qualities of copper in the most creative way.
The pieces in this section have also been loaned by prestigious institutions like Fondazione MAXXI, MAXXI Architettura, Rome; Fondazione Aldo Rossi, Milan; Fondazione Renzo Piano, Genoa; Herzog & de Meuron Architecture Studio, Basel; Steven Holl Architects, New York.
In the section on architecture, some scale models of projects from architects such as Herzog & de Meuron, Renzo Piano, Aldo Rossi, Steven Holl Architects and James Stirling will be presented.
Copper in Technology
This part of the exhibition was gifted to Leonardo da Vinci museum for permanent display.
There are innumerable applications of copper in technology.
In this case too the theme has been tackled by splitting it up into several areas, ranging from the history and properties of copper to the things that are made out of the mineral and from scrap; from the relationship of copper with energy to its use in transport, telecommunications and electronics, in farming and the food industry, in medicine and in construction.
Copper is a fundamental component of the telecommunications network, which relies on the copper duplex cable.
It is also a component of superconductors, of shape-memory alloys and of microprocessors for the computer.
It is an essential material in information processing and communications.
It is an ideal conductor of heat for the distribution of energy at reasonable costs and in a way compatible with environmental sustainability.
Used in medicine since the time of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who prescribed copper and its compounds for personal hygiene; modern scientific research has discovered its antimicrobial properties.
Finally copper is a recyclable material par excellence.
Significant and carefully selected examples of these applications are presented in the exhibition.
It is emblematic that the exhibition opens and closes with two key elements of the part devoted to technology.
The first object that the visitor meets on entering the exhibition has a symbolic value: it is “native copper.”
A small fragment of ore in which copper gleams.
The exhibition ends with a particle detector, in which copper plays an essential role.
It is one of the most advanced technological devices in existence.
About Eight Art Project
Eight Art Project is a company operating in the contemporary art and design field producing and organising cultural projects.
It was founded in January 2014 by architect and decorative arts expert Elena Tettamanti, who has devoted the last years to contemporary art exhibition with an holistic approach: from the original concept to curatorship, up until found raising and management of institutional networks.