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Giulio Romano’s I Modi and the ‘Modi’ of Carlo Scarpa and Álvaro Siza
Alvaro Siza - Echoes of figures
Alvaro Siza - Echoes of figures
From 12 March to 15 May 2016

The body’s relationship with architecture and the complex phenomenon of corporality have always played an important role in the history of European culture.

The direct reference is to the classical tradition and Vitruvius, the ancient Roman architect and inventor of this juxtaposition which has enjoyed such success in the history of art.

In De Architectura he compares the human body to a construction, and from this comparison he makes a series of affirmations which over time have facilitated the understanding of terms such as proportion, symmetry and harmony.

Inspired by Vitruvian thought, many great architects, particularly those more gifted in the art of drawing, have experienced the moment in which the pleasure of depicting the human anatomy takes on an erotic value.

A drawing, the first appearance of the process which attributes a form to the substance, can indicate the establishment of a sensual relationship between the architect’s hand, the graphic support and the tools used.

The exhibition Giulio Romano’s I Modi and the ‘Modi’ of Carlo Scarpa and Álvaro Siza, curated by Francesco Dal Co, Casabella Editor,  aims to investigate this aspect of architecture: the link between the depiction of the body and eroticism.

This analysis takes as its starting point the exhibition of a vast series of drawings taken from the private notebooks and studies of two of the major architects of the twentieth century: Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) and Álvaro Siza (b. 1933).

Approximately 100 drawings by these two masters of contemporary architecture are on display which have never been exhibited before.

To demonstrate that what we deduce from Scarpa and Siza’s drawings and sketches is not the result of a practice or of contingent attitudes, the exhibition also includes reproductions of Giulio Romano’s “I Modi” (1499-1546).

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