anda Vigo, architect, designer and artist, a central figure in the Italian artistic experimentation of the sixties and seventies, has passed away at 83. She still had many projects to undertake and the “Light Project 2020” exhibition at Macte, the contemporary art museum in Termoli which is finally free to open after the forced closure of the lockdown.
She was the partner of Piero Manzoni (who forbid her from holding exhibitions), a collaborator of Lucio Fontana (“I quickly became his shop boy”) and Gio Ponti, who instead gave her complete freedom. She always had to fight to find her space in a primarily male-dominated creative world. She was successful thanks to her assertive, almost brusque personality, her radical convictions and her consistent ideas expressed with neither fear nor hypocrisy, both in the celebrated years of artistic revolution and less-enthusiastic times.
An intransigent spirit and a free artist, she always chose her path without compromise, dedicating herself to the study of light, a mystery that struck her when she was a little girl—as she was evacuated to Como from Milan during the war she saw the glass brick used by Giuseppe Terragni for the “Casa del Fascio”. Later, after her studies at the Politecnico di Losanna, an artistic and architectonic experimentation with space and objects became the central theme of her existence: “As long I am breathing I will work with light, because in light there is absolute beauty.” In this spirit, she produced the Manifesto cronotopico in 1964, a theory of the modification of space through light and the sensorial engagement of those who make use of it.
As an architect Nanda Vigo was a leader of Gruppo Zero, created the Casa sotto la foglia in Malo with Gio Ponti, and built the Casa Museo Remo Brindisi in Lido di Spina, one of her most spectacular projects. Amongst her many projects as a designer, we remember the Golden Gate lamp for Arredoluce, the Top Sofa for Fai International, the Due Più chair for More Coffee, the Essential table for Driade, the Cronotopo cabinet and the “Blocco” chair-pouf.
PHOTOS: Courtesy Archivio Nanda Vigo
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