previews

Mario Fiorentino’s Monumento alle Fosse Ardeatine (Monument to the Victims of Fosse Ardeatine), 1947, Rome. From “Zevi’s Architects: History and Counter-History from Postwar to the End of the 20th Century.”

Rome

“Zevi’s Architects: History and Counter-History from Postwar to the End of the 20th Century”

MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo
Via Guido Reni 4A
April 20 - October 21

Curated by Jean-Louis Cohen and Pippo Ciorra

This exhibition revisits the work of the Italian architectural writer Bruno Zevi and, through his eyes, some lesser-known corners of postwar Italian architecture and discourse. Internationally, Zevi is known as a popularizer of Frank Lloyd Wright and an advocate for “organicism.” In Italy, he was for decades a ubiquitous and unapologetic (sometimes grating) critical voice near to saturating the media with a newspaper column, a television show, a journal, a professorship, numerous books, and a government position. Curators Jean-Louis Cohen and Pippo Ciorra have divided the show’s contents into three categories—buildings, texts, and biographical artifacts. Of greatest interest will be the selection of more than thirty—five structures by Italian designers Zevi championed for their self-assured manipulations of fragmented forms and complex geometries. Whether the myth of organicism emerges shattered or reinforced, the exhibition should inspire anyone seeking precursors to the formal complexity of contemporary digital architecture and instruct those hoping that an architectural critic can hold sway as a public intellectual today.