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GAE AULENTI ad Euroluce 2023

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners
The biennial international lighting expo Euroluce is an inspiring event for the light design dimension.
"Costellazioni” an art exhibition curated by Beppe Finessi with a distinct architectural language on the theme of light.
How not to visit the installation dedicated to the great architect Gae Aulenti?
Below you will find a brief presentation of this great architect and the iconic lamps on display.
Gabriella Ruggieri for 1blog4u
Italy's most globally-acclaimed designer of the latter half of the twentieth century, Gae Aulenti always sought to deconstruct rationalist design, over the years getting to grips with Neo-liberty, Pop Art and other expressions of contemporary art. Courageous and determined, always driven by a keen civic and social sensibility, she showed a patent predilection for design with curved and sinuous lines, perhaps an analogy to the round glasses she always wore, to which she entrusted part of her own public image and identity.
In her tenacious efforts to break free of functionalist abstraction, Gae Aulenti combined a keen taste for the dramatic expressed through a passion for the theatre, layouts and stagings. Wherever she worked and whatever she did, whether it was designing a chair or a museum, a table lamp or a set for a play, Gae Aulenti was, first and foremost, always an architect. Attentive to recovering cultural and popular traditions as a way of rejecting the petty-bourgeois banality of certain Modernist thinking, she transformed her work on objects into a kind of common thread linking not just present and past but large and small scales, applying her architectural gaze and attention to the spatial values of which she (a woman in a man's world) was always so proud to the world of things, furnishings and lights.
She notably once said: "Architecture is a man's profession, but I always pretended not to know that".

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners
Lamps 1965-1975

Gae Aulenti's research into lamps and light proceeded naturally through a variety of different design approaches: from the figurative “Pipistrello, 1965” and “Ruspa, 1968” to typological hybridization in “Giova, 1964” and “Rimorchiatore, 1967”, moving on to experimentation with light emission in “PatrocIo, 1975” and “King Sun, 1967”.

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners

Divided into three parts like a column (base/foundation, bracket/shaft, diffuser/capital), the shape of “Pipistrello”'s white methacrylate diffuser alluded to the silhouette of the winged, nocturnal mammal.

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners
Equipped with a swivelling arm and head, “Ruspa” is clearly reminiscent of the digger from which that lamp takes its name.
Gae Aulenti's unsettling taste for typological hybridization is clear in “Giova”, a singular combination of a vase and a light fixture, and in “Rimorchiatore”, a kind of ornament-sculpture-multifunctional object, at one and the same time a lamp, flower stand, and ashtray.
Gae Aulenti's experimentation with the magic of light is best illustrated by “King Sun”, whose very name reveals an ambition to evoke an image of the sun radiating bright rays, and by “Patroclo” in transparent glass, blown into a grid of diamond-shaped, partially covering steel wires, following the template of lamps used in factories that require protection. 

 - Gabriella Ruggieri & partners


A past master at turning a functional need into a design opportunity, Gae Aulenti created a lamp that, thanks to shadows cast by that rhomboidal grid, beams an unusual texture onto walls and ceilings.
Technical drawings on display at the exhibition offer a detailed illustration of all this; the precise stroke of the rapidograph reveals Gae Aulenti's skilfully connected proportions, measurements, and radii of curvature (Silvana Annichiarico: heartfelt thanks to Nina Artioli, Virginia Marri and Clara Polizzotti of the Gae Aulenti Archive for their invaluable and indispensable help and thanks to Artemide, FontanaArte and Martinelli Luce)

visit the Gallery  (ph. Vaifro Minoretti for 1blog4u)