ALDO ROSSI – LA FINESTRA DEL POETA_

Through the Italian architect Aldo Rossi’s work, one enters into a world where architectural ingenuity intertwines with artistic and philosophical concepts. Without this unconventional oeuvre, architectural prints would probably have remained a peripheral phenomenon.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Aldo Rossi’s museum in Maastricht, the Bonnefantenmuseum produced an exhibition on the fascinating Opera Grafica of this versatile architect and artist. Along with the exhibition, titled La finestra del poeta after a favourite subject of Rossi’s, Silvana Editoriale has published the book Aldo Rossi: Opera Grafica, a work conducted in close cooperation with the museum and the Fondazione Aldo Rossi in Milan, and ARCHIZOOM is publishing a map and an application on the Città analoga.

The importance of Aldo Rossi (1932-1997) for the development of architectural culture can hardly be underestimated. Through his unique and complex network of theoretical works, buildings and projects, designs, teaching and exhibiting activities, and a vast production of drawings and prints, he was one of the most influential actors in the reorientation of architecture in the previous century. His production of prints cannot easily be compared to that of any other artist or architect, since it does not establish a ‘private niche’. On the contrary, his prints show an unconventional reaction to impulses from within (personal reflection) and from without (relationships with friends and commissioners).

The relatively small group of prints displayed at Opera Grafica has scarcely ever – undeservedly – been studied. But when considered within the broader perspective of the ‘rediscovery’ of architectural prints of the 1970s, Rossi’s printmaking has had a determining role in this particular development. His prints, which are closely related to his drawings, display a fascinating relationship between unique and reproduction works, relating conceptually to Rossi’s influential idea of architecture as modus operandi – where the process is at least as important as the product.

Between 1973 (the year in which he curated the international Architectural Section of the XV’s Triennial of Milan) until his death, Rossi enriched his oeuvre with over 100 prints. Though interested in the mysteries and possibilities of various graphic techniques, Rossi was not a trained printmaker. His prints often show a disconcerting variety of styles and techniques: some are experiments with printmaking; others are technically conventional or signed photomechanical reproductions.

archizoom.epfl.ch/AldoRossi

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