The travelling exhibition “Álvaro Siza Viagem Sem Programa”, curated by Raul Betti and Greta Ruffino and focusing on the famous architect’s intimate, private side, continues in Portugal.
Organised as one of a series of initiatives held in Lisbon in the month of May and open at Atelier Aires Mateus, at Rua Cecílio de Sousa 52, the exhibition has been extended until June 18 in view of its popularity.
Greta Ruffino and Raoul Betti came up with the idea of an exhibition focusing not on projects by the famous Portuguese architect but on his drawings when they interviewed Álvaro Siza, and the event was first held during the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale in Venice, entitled “Common Ground” and curated by British architect David Chipperfield in 2012.
In the summer of 2017 the exhibition “Álvaro Siza Viagem Sem Programa” was held in the exclusive spaces of FAB Fiandre Architectural Bureau Castellarano, in an installation by Dumbo Design Studio which underlined the value of Fiandre’s spaces and surfaces. Big slabs were used to create an exhibition route winding among blow-up photographs ideally introducing visitors into the architect’s studio and then among his drawings, set up on porcelain display units made by Fiandre specifically for the exhibition.
"We’re happy to see the voyage continue in Portugal," say Greta Ruffino and Raul Betti. Dumbo Design Studio curated the exhibition in the studio of another famous Portuguese architect, Aires Mateus. The brightly lit spaces overlooking the roofs of Lisbon house a collection of 53 drawings architect Álvaro Siza produced over 60 years, personally selected by the architect himself.
"Álvaro Siza’s drawings have revelatory power. They explain the ‘world’ in a masterful way mediated by his way of reasoning, his sensibility, his wisdom," says architect Manuel Aires Mateus, briefly describing the importance of Siza’s drawings, the wealth of his representations and his ability to perceive and understand, transforming every look into a transmission of knowledge.
The exhibition is truly unique, for in order to preserve the drawings, the curators first digitally restored them to recover all the lines and marks contained in every drawing. They were then transferred to paper using the one-time use screen printing model to produce fifty-three full-scale prints all authenticated by the architect. This painstaking process reveals how much progress has been made, both technically and in terms of sensibility in the observation of reality.
In a documentary video, Álvaro Siza himself talks about his passion for drawing, used as a constant medium for research, communication and enhancement of his career and personal life over the years.
The exhibition is completed with more than 150 photographs telling the story of the project, from its genesis to the present, a voyage in images that allows the spectator to understand the complexity of the work involved in preparing the exhibition.
Exhibition: Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa - Maio en Lisboa
curators: Raul Betti and Greta Ruffino
address: Aires Mateus Atelier - Rua Cecílio de Sousa 52, Lisbon
Photos: Raul Betti and Gabriele Cavazzano