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Franco Albini: Museums and Installations

February 19, 2006 - 7:00pm to March 3, 2006 - 7:00pm

Franco Albini, prominent Italian architect, urban and furniture designer, is the subject of an upcoming exhibition and symposium to be held at The Ohio State University. Albini’s work during the period defined by Rationalism before World War II and experimentalism through the 1970s characterizes the shift from radical to revisionist modernism. Organized by Philip Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies, and Kay Bea Jones, Associate Professor in the Knowlton School of Architecture, the events will examine the problem of "being modern" in light of the complex forces that shape an ever-changing notion of modernity.

The exhibition, “Franco Albini: Museums and Installations,” curated by Federico Bucci and Augusto Rossari of Milan Polytechnic’s Department of Architecture, will be on view in Knowlton Hall’s Banvard Gallery from Monday, February 20 to Saturday, March 4. Opened at the Milan Polytechnic in April 2005, the exhibition makes its U.S. premiere at Ohio State, and will continue to University of Michigan, Arizona State University, Kent State University and University of Tennessee.

The exhibition features select work from 1930 to 1977 by Albini and his collaborators and surveys their "neo-rationalist" alternative to high modernism. Though Albini first came to international attention for his furniture design, by the 1950's he had produced some of Italy's most influential works of architecture. The sensitivity to context, materiality and history of these buildings transformed the very idea of modernism and helped set the stage for a more complex reckoning with modernity throughout Europe.

The symposium, “Modernity and Tradition,” will take place on Friday, March 3 from to in the Knowlton Hall Auditorium. While contemporary thought retains an allegiance to early modern attitudes about progress, productivity, abstraction and experimentation, it is critical of modernist developments such as global production and the placelessness and destitution of cultural differences that such developments entail. With the work of Albini as its provocation, the symposium will revisit the problem of "being modern" in light of the complex forces that shape an ever-changing notion of modernity with an open discussion on the dilemmas inherent in our current state of affairs.

Featured symposium speakers and panelists include Stephen Leet (Washington University), Marco Albini (Milan Polytechnic), Lisa Florman (OSU History of Art), David Horn (OSU Comparative Studies), Brian McHale (OSU English), and Amy Shuman (OSU English and Center for Folklore).

The exhibition and symposium are co-sponsored by the Knowlton School of Architecture, the Office of International Affairs’ Interdisciplinary Lectures, Seminars, and Conferences on International Themes, the Institute for Collaborative Research and Public Humanities, the College of Humanities, the Department of Comparative Studies, the CIRIT Interdisciplinary Initiative, and Columbus Sister Cities.  

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium

Italian architect Albini's work to be featured in exhibition, symposium