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 leonardo ricci

Leonardo Ricci: design investigations on the question of dwelling


Thursday, April 18 6.30pm

Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union,

Room 315F

41 Cooper Union Square, New York




Curated by Ugo Dattilo, Maria Clara Ghia, Clementina Ricci the exhibition aims at exploring Leonardo Ricci's work around the theme of residential architecture, from the single-family dwelling to the neighborhood and the city. Some of the projects included in this exhibitions are:

The architect's home-studio in Monterinaldi (1949-1952) that was built on a hill near Florence.  The "village of the Martians", as the constructions' cluster on the steep terrain in front of Fiesole is commonly called, is a true manifesto of the Ricci way of understanding the architectural work as one and the same with the surrounding landscape. In addition to the family house, over time Ricci also added a series of other residences. The set of houses seems to have always been there, built with local walls and stones, and accomodationg basic needs, without barriers or interruptions, allowing for a free and dynamic flow of life of the inhabitants. The use of materials found on site and the contrast between vertical stone elements and horizontal concrete terraces are reminiscent of F. L. Wright's work.
Casa Teorica (1956-1958), that unfortunately never saw the light, was to be built next to the architect's home-studio, in front of the quarry from which the construction's materials were taken. It represents the ideal of all Ricci’s experiments on the residence theme: the space is contracted and expanded on staggered levels, without any physical or visual barrier between one room and the other, neither vertically nor horizontally.

Monte degli Ulivi Village in Riesi, Sicily (1962-1968), for the Waldensian pastor Tullio Vinay’s community. The architect developed the communal model that will be a subject of constant research in his work.

"La Nave" tower house in the Sorgane district of Florence (1962-1966) is a residential macrostructure, a two-hundred-meter building with reinforced concrete structure. It is organized as a mutable set of public housing, and openn, common and/or connecting spaces, such as balconies, paths, terraces, internal streets and stairwells. The project's core concept and intent was that of enabling exchanges and communication among people.

The project for Dog Island (1968-1970) in collaboration with architects Daniel Paulk Branch and Maria Grazia Dall’Erba.

A typical element in Ricci’s macrostructures is the tower, possibly dedicated to residences, a sort of "lighthouse" embedded on a service platform suspended on pilotis. It is one of the possible configurations of the Ricci’s “Earth city”, as well as the last project of the exhibition, the Habitation study (1960-70), this too conceived in the United States. Only a few drawings of this series of studies are preserved, but they are remarkably interesting.

Leonardo Ricci (Rome 8 June 1918 - Venice 29 September 1994) In 1936 Ricci enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence. Here he met architect Giovanni Michelucci, and after graduating became his assistant and collaborator. Michelucci's studio brought together the most promising young people of the so-called Florentine school, including Leonardo Savioli, Edoardo Detti and Giuseppe Giorgio Gori.

In 1946 Ricci began his teaching career at the University of Florence, first as an assistant and lecturer, then as a professor and finally as Dean. He fully participated in the protests of ‘68, until his resignation and exile in Venice in 1973. He was a charismatic teacher, passionate and open to discussions. Ricci had, also, the merit of appointing Umberto Eco to his first teaching position.

At the end of the fifties Ricci designed some organic-expressionist villas for high profile clients, such as the house for Elisabeth Mann Borgese in Forte dei Marmi (1957-59) and the house for the couturier Pierre Balmain on the Elba island (1958), while the only example of industrial project was the multifunctional building of the Manifattura Goti in Campi Bisenzio, Florence (1959-62).

From 1960 to 1983 Ricci held teaching positions in the U.S. He was Visiting Professor and Graduate Research Professor at prestigious universities such as MIT, Pennsylvania State University, Kentucky University and Florida University. His professional and teaching experiences, his American stay and his direct knowledge of the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, whom he met in person in 1951 at Palazzo Strozzi during his first Italian exhibition, led Ricci to gather the foundations for the set of considerations on life, art and architecture that converged in Anonymous (20th Century), published in New York in 1962.



tintoretto washington

Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice

March 10 – July 7, 2019

The National Gallery of Art, Washington


Following its opening at the Palazzo Ducale, Venice, Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice will travel to the Gallery— its only other venue. As the first retrospective of the artist in North America, the exhibition will include many significant international loans traveling to the U.S. for the first time. The exhibition will feature nearly 50 paintings and more than a dozen works on paper spanning the artist’s entire career and ranging from regal portraits of Venetian aristocracy to religious and mythological narrative scenes.



cima metaphysical

Metaphysical Masterpieces; 1916-1920: Morandi, Sironi, and Carrà
Annual Installation

19 October 2018 - 15 June 2019

CIMA Center for Italiam Moder Art

421 Broome Street, 4th Floor, New York


The exhibition is focused on a short period that ends the first phase of the avant-garde movements of Cubism in France and Futurism in Italy and blossoms into a new poetics, which will eventually lead to the “Return to Order” in the first years of the 1920s.

A major exhibition devoted to masterpieces of metaphysical art, with rarely seen works created between 1916 and 1920 by Giorgio Morandi, Mario Sironi, and Carlo Carrà, along with a key work by Giorgio de Chirico. Drawn primarily from the collection of the Pinacoteca di Brera, in Milan, as well as from other public and private collections, the exhibition includes works that have never before been seen in the U.S., and many brought together for the first time.
The term “metaphysical painting” (pittura metafisica) refers to an artistic style that emerged in Italy during the First World War. Closely associated with de Chirico, it often featured disquieting images of eerie spaces and enigmatic objects, eliciting a sense of the mysterious. Metaphysical Masterpieces concentrates on rarely seen early works by Giorgio Morandi and important paintings by the lesser- known artists Carlo Carrà and Mario Sironi, offering a richer and more nuanced view of pittura metafisica than previous exhibitions in the United States, creating a vivid portrait of the genre.



fontana met small


Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold

January 23–April 14, 2019

At The Met Breuer and The Met Fifth Avenue

The first major survey of Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) in the United States in more than forty years, this exhibition will reexamine the career of one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. The Argentine-Italian artist is widely known for his Cuts series, slashed paintings that became symbols of the postwar era. The exhibition will present extraordinary examples of this iconic body of work. It will also explore Fontana's beginnings as a sculptor, including his exquisite work in ceramic, as well as his pioneering environments, contextualizing the radical gesture of his Cuts as part of the artist's broader search to integrate the space of art and the space of the viewer.



 chiara fumai small


Chiara Fumai: LESS LIGHT

February 12–May 17, 2019

ISCP The International Studio & Curatorial Program

1040 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211


February 12, 2019, 6–8pm: Opening Reception and reenactment of the performance The S.C.U.M. Elite (2014)

The International Studio & Curatorial Program announces the opening of LESS LIGHT, an exhibition by Chiara Fumai (1978–2017), a 2017 ISCP alumna. The artist’s first solo exhibition on this continent, LESS LIGHT brings together two of Fumai’s pioneering works, The Book of Evil Spirits (2015) and Dogaressa Elisabetta Querini, Zalumma Agra, Annie Jones, Dope Head, Harry Houdini, Eusapia Palladino read Valerie Solanas (2012-13), as well as a reenactment of the performance The S.C.U.M. Elite (2014) at the opening reception.





renato leotta


Renato Leotta Solo Exhibition and New Site-Specific Commission

April 30 – June 12, 2019
On View at Magazzino Italian Art Foundation 2700 U.S. 9, Cold Spring, NY
and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò 24 W 12th St, New York, NY



Coming directly from the American Academy in Rome, where he is currently the Italian Fellow in Visual Arts investigating the space between earth and sky, Leotta will take up residence in Cold Spring and continue his research on the relationship between the built and natural environment across three locations in New York state: the Hudson Valley, shores of Long Island, and New York City. Opening on April 30, 2019, Leotta will premiere a new installation that responds to the grounds surrounding Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, in conjunction with a presentation of new and recent sculptures, and multimedia works on view at Casa Italiana in New York City.

Renato Leotta (b. 1982, Turin) lives and works between Turin and Acireale, since his family originally came from Sicily, an area from which he draws significant inspiration. Leotta is currently the Italian Fellow in Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome. Renato Leotta’s work is rooted in the act of observation, using the landscape as a subject. As an archaeologist of the Real, Renato Leotta tries—through his processes of observation—to identify and circumscribe a series of images, visualized through different media, that although being related to a specific time and space, contain a universal character.



Suspended by Massimo Cristaldi

@ Gravy Studio, Philadelphia

13-27 April 2019

Gravy Studio

910 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia


Gravy Studio & Gallery is proud to present the Suspended, a series of work by Italian photographer Massimo Cristaldi.

Cristaldi says Suspended is a photographic sequence exploring what is far from Mediterranean stereotypes. No winking postcards testifying a collective image of lands full of art and nature. No iconic visions of black dressed mamas, godfathers, and religious fests. Visual sketches, are my landscapes where the city is as old as time and continuous with it. Where every place has been (or is going to be) colonized by man made artifacts.”

Cristaldi has been recognized in international photography competitions such as International Photography Awards, Sony World Photography Awards, Travel Photographers Of the Year. Cristaldi has exhibited in solo and group shows and at photography festivals in Europe, US, Canada and Brazil. He is represented by galleries in Belgium and Italy. He lives and works in Catania and Rome. Cristaldi’s photographs are part of the permanent collection of the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY.