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Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan's Nilufar Depot

THE SHOW CELEBRATES ANDREA BRANZI AND HIS TIMELESS WORKS

 

milan’s nilufar gallery presents an exhibition dedicated to the italian maestro andrea branzi. titled andrea branzi – grandi legni and etchings, the show celebrates branzi and his timeless works and showcases the unique, large scale, totem-like wooden pieces called grandi legni, conceived as protectors, soulful objects and connectors to a mythical dimension. 

 

‘branzi’s work belongs to the past, present, and future,’ said nina yashar, nilufar gallery founder. ‘his grandiosity stands in the acknowledgment, comprehension and rediscovery of simplicity, brought back to light in its purest, most elementary and power form.’

andrea branzi's totem-like grandi legni sculptures safeguard milan's nilufar depot
image by ruy teixeira

 

FIVE GRANDI LEGNI SETS on view

 

on view until may 7, 2022, at nilufar depot, the exhibition includes five grandi legni set across the warehouse together with nine artist proofs and one panel from the series architettura povera, and nine artist proofs and one panel from the series assolo di croci, as well as four never-before-seen acquaints.

 

halfway between architecture installations and everyday appliances, the grandi legni have been defined by branzi himself as ‘safeguards, altruistic presences, such as the lares and penates, that protect our already extinguished household fire.’ unlike pieces of contemporary design, these massive objects aim to define a new form inclined towards deeper anthropological territories, magic and myths.

 

‘they take part in life’s theater and have a role in the comedy,’ branzi continued. ‘they are in part tools and in part stage props, in part instruments and in part tales.’

andrea branzi totem-like grandi legni sculptures safeguard milan's nilufar depot
images by mattia Iotti unless otherwise noted

 

made in wood, the totem sculptures are meant to support and carry the owner’s struggles upon themselves. the pieces reinterpret the material through a combination of techniques, including the research of antique beams from gadertal in val badia, the adoption of an innovative 3M printing methodology, the creating of florentine semi-precious stones inlaid, and of micro-mosaics by spilimbergo school.

andrea branzi totem-like grandi legni sculptures safeguard milan's nilufar depot

 

the installation at nilufar depot honors the grandi legni by dedicating the whole central area of the gallery to their presences, while they act as protectors of the space.

nilufar-gallery-andrea-branzi-grandi-legni-designboom-1800

 

INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA BRANZI

 

DESIGNBOOM (DB): you first presented the grandi legni at nilufar gallery back in 2009. how did your relationship with nilufar gallery begin, and how has it evolved?

 

ANDREA BRANZI (AB): the collaboration with nilufar took place and continues to take place through the realization of projects on which both the gallery and I have shared strong emotions, regardless of the time in which they were made.

andrea branzi totem-like grandi legni sculptures safeguard milan's nilufar depot

 

DB: totem-like, the grandi legni were created as safeguards. the times we’re living have us desperately looking for protection, making this new show perfect in timing. is this something you thought about when approached by nilufar for the exhibition?

 

AB: the grandi legni are the result of the profound internalisation of history. their meaning is the same today as it was thirteen years ago. what has changed are the current conditions of life.

Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan's Nilufar Depot

 

DB: when you first created the grandi legni, you said the culture of contemporary design struggled to find its charismatic capacity to create objects with a soul. do you still think this today?

 

AB: every object has a soul that can be positive, but also negative.

Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan's Nilufar Depot

 

DB: do the pieces have different protective powers?

 

AB: protection is understood in a general sense, belonging to the sphere of human feelings; not as a religious or superstitious practice.

Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan's Nilufar Depot

 

DB: you recently published the big book of design, covering the history of international design from the 1920s to today. in your opinion, what makes a design icon?

 

AB: a piece of design becomes an icon when it manages to represent the sense of an era.

 

 

DB: dubbed the future of the internet, the metaverse is in the process of being built, giving us a vague sense of what it might look like. are you interested in designing digital spaces?

 

AB: I don’t use digital design (of which I don’t know the technical tools); but my way of designing has always been of a mental nature, composing metaverses since the end of the 60s. the result of a work is not due to the means used to create it, but to the emotion it manages to communicate.

Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan's Nilufar Depot
andrea branzi portrait © cirva kai juenemann

 

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Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan’s Nilufar Depot
 
Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan’s Nilufar Depot
 
Andrea Branzi on his totem-like sculptures at Milan’s Nilufar Depot
 

project info:

 

name: andrea branzi – grandi legni and etchings exhibition

presented by: nilufar gallery

location: nilufar depot, milan

dates: 17.03.20200 – 07.05.2022

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