«I believe that new creativity units will born where architect, painter, sculptor, in the manners of Comacini's Masters, will give a new shape to modern architecture [...] The synthesis of architecture with other arts could be only conceived into architects, painters, sculptors coexistence in the same way of Comacini Masters»
Ico Parisi in Numero, Milan, January - March, 1953
An exhibition to leaf through the pages of the book dedicated to Ico Parisi's house, edited by Flaminio Gualdoni and published by Electa in 1999 thanks to the will of Franco and Roberta Calarota, chairman of Maggiore g.a.m. A modern "viewing room" where enter virtually into the rooms of the dwelling in Como at via degli Scalini where Ico Parisi created his architectures, his iconic pieces of design, collected art, invited some of the most important personality in the art field of the Twentieth Century and lived with his wife Luisa, searching a complete synthesis between art and architecture that has been reached in "Casa esistenziale" made by him in 1972. A precious document, a journey to discover Ico Parisi and that half- century of history of art, architecture and design that he crossed together with the collobartions with his friends from Lucio Fontana to Fausto Melotti, from Bruno Munari to Francesco Somaini, from Mario Radice to all of them who left a witness of their passage in the artwork hanging from the walls or integrated into the architecture.
Projects for large urban plans - sometimes visionary, sometimes utopian - started to appear on national and international scene in the late 1950s, in conjunction with a very lively debate focused on the relationship between human beings and city. Within this context, Ico Parisi focuses his attention on a smaller and more human dimension: the intimate and cosy space of house. Far from some of his colleagues' functionalist concerns, Parisi conceives the house "as a den of the intellect and of existential functions", as stated by Flaminio Gualdoni. A venue where objects, furniture, carpets and works of art dialogue with each other: a dynamic space where the pulsing core is vibrating thanks to the atmospheres evoked by those meetings.
Parisi pursues in his intent a sober civilization of living. A combination of styles, experimentations and knowledge flowing into La Ruota studio, founded in Como in 1948 together with his wife Luisa Aiani and active until 1996. Driving force ofinspirations and creations, La Ruota, beside being an exhibition venue for admired Masters as Umberto Boccioni and Pablo Picasso, is also a shop and a place for creative and intellectual exchange: the ideal background for the meetings of the brilliant world, still not so famous at that time, of designers and artists such as Giò Ponti, Paolo De Poli, Gegia e Marisa Bronzini, Renata Bonfanti, Fulvio Bianconi, Federico Bonaldi, Alessio Tasca who are used to spending their spare time here.
After a series of architectural experimentations focused on the main theme of private dwelling, in 1957 Parisi came to a millstone of his research with the construction of the Condominio Sant'Antonio located in Como at via degli Scalini. On the four-storey building's roof, Parisi conceived the idea of his own house. Here the living area is obtained from a kind of hypertrophic roof, generatorof spaces where the use of avant-garde materials as modernfold and exposed concrete is preferred. All this is topped by moving and continuous covering that, in determining the inextricable relationship with the residence's areas, leads the relationship between inside and outside to stunning visual results. In such dialectics, it is essential the system of the glass windows which allow the eyes to enjoy one of the most beautiful view of Como Lake. However, in contrast with the new modern rule, the glass window does not invalidate the secrecy of the interior space, preserving instead discretion and intimacy. These are the characteristics that can determinate the atmosphere of the house, whose spaces are gradually defined by the vivid perception of the body and its daily movements, and where the measurement of gestures and emotions makes clear that the only possible modernity is to conceive thehouse first of all as an emotional space.
Supporter of a complete synthesis of art and architecture, Parisi finds in the permeation of work by architects, sculptors and artists, the very essence of the origin of space. This is the reason why there are no corners in his house not identified by the signature of an author: some walls - such as the one under the staircase - are literally invadedby works of art. Moving towards the terrace there is a large mosaic by Francesco Somaini, who realized also the sculpture marking the exhaust pipe. Elements of a purely functional nature are also the result of an artistic sensitivity, as in the case of the intervention by Fausto Melotti for the bathroom tiles and by Lucio Fontana for the flooring of the terrace made of black concrete and Murano glass. The presence of Fontana, together with that of Fausto Melotti and Bruno Munari, is scattered throughout the house. Five of Melotti's most poetic brass sculptures are lined up on a shelf in the living room. The meeting with Bruno Munari takes place with the Scultura da viaggio that stands out on the study table and the mobile sculpture hanging above the dining table. Whereas, the presence of Fontana stands out in the graffitiwith glass inserts, in front of the living room area, and in a magnificent pink oil that dominates the table-shelf designed by Parisi, one of the most famous pieces of post-war design. Being relevant personalities in the discourse of an integrative conception of the arts, these artists are the protagonists of a prolific relationship of stimulus and mutual exchange with Ico Parisi. Mario Radice is another constant presence in the house. Contributing from the beginning to the architectural experiences of Parisi, Radice creates a unique relationship that makes them accomplices, as well as in work, also in life. Oils, pastels, and a consistent series of drawings witnesses this bond in the house.
Besides the path of the assiduous presencesin the Parisi house, there is another one: a map of the affections of Ico and Luisa. Umberto Boccioni, Mario Schifano, Achille Perilli, Mauro Staccioli are part of it. In the area on either side of the dining table there is a multiple with retouching by Lucio del Pezzo. Passing through the stairlwell there is a painting collection which reminds us of other works by Del Pezzo, but also by Enrico Baj, Gianni Colombo, Gaston Chassiac , Giulio Paolini, Franco Vaccari and many others.
All these works, together with the architectural structure of the house and the pieces of furniture that have made the history of design, are perceived as a multitude of presences capable of making this place a unique example of the total work of art, where the contribution of single elements is transformed into a game of affinity and connected balances. Some works report provenance from galleries, but for the vast majority they are coming directly from the artists, to underline once again how, for the generative practice of Parisi's creations, the contribution of a dense network of relationships woven between illustrious professionals from the world of form and vision was fundamental.
Ico Parisi The HouseLucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti, Francesco Somaini
Projects for large urban plans - sometimes visionary, sometimes utopian - started to appear on national and international scene in the late 1950s, in conjunction with a very lively debate focused on the relationship between human beings and city. Within this context, Ico Parisi focuses his attention on a smaller and more human dimension: the intimate and cosy space of house. Far from some of his collegues' functionalist concerns, Parisi conceives the house "as a den of the intellect and of existential functions'", as stated by Flaminio Gualdoni. A venue where objects, furniture, carpets and works of art dialogue with each other: a dynamic space where the pulsing core is vibrating thanks to the atmospheres evoked by those meetings.
It is a sober civilization of living the one that Parisi carry on in his aim. A set of styles, sperimentations and knowledge which goes into the studio La Ruota, founded in Como in 1948 together with his wife Luisa Aiani and active until 1996. Driving force of inspirations and creations, La Ruota, beside being an exhibition venue for admired Masters as Umberto Boccioni and Pablo Picasso, is a shop and a creativity and intellectual exchange venue too: an ideal meeting point set in the background for a genius world, not so famous at the time, made by designers and artists as Giò Ponti, Paolo De Poli, Gegia e Marisa Bronzini, Renata Bonfanti, Fulvio Bianconi, Federico Bonaldi, Alessio Tasca who spent here their time.
edited by Flaminio Gualdoni published by Electa, 1999
After a series of architectural experimentations focused on the main theme of private dwelling, in 1957 Parisi came to a millstone of his research with the making of the Condominio Sant'Antonio located in Como at via Scalini. On the building's roof, erected on four floors, Parisi conceived the idea of his own home. Here the living area has been obtained from a kind of hypertrophic roof, generator of spaces where the using of avant- garde materials as modernfold and exposed concrete has been favourited. Everything has been dominated by a moving and constant covering, that, in the determination of the inextricable relationship with the residence's areas, leads the relationship between inside and outside to stunning visual results. In this dialectics it is essential the system of the glass windows which let the eyes enjoy one of the most beautiful view on Como's lake, but the glass window, against the new modern rule, doesn't invalidate the secrecy of the inside space keeping discretion and intimacy instead. These characteristics determinate the house's ambiance, where the spaces are gradually defined by the vivid perception of the body and his daily movements, and where the gestures and the feelings' sizing makes clear as the only modernity could be done by conceiving an house as an emotional space.
Supporter of a complete synthesis of art and architecture, Parisi finds in the permeation of work by architects, sculptors and artists, the core of l'essenza ultima della genesi dello spazio. Ecco perchè non c'è un angolo della sua casa che non sia individuato dalla firma di un autore: alcune pareti - come quella sotto la scala - sono letteralmente invase da opere d'arte; spostandosi verso il terrazzo si incontra un grande mosaico di Francesco Somaini, di cui si nota anche una scultura a segnare la canna fumaria; sono frutto di una
sensibilità artistica anche elementi di natura prettamente funzionale, come nel caso dell'intervento di Fausto Melotti per le piastrelle del bagno e di Lucio Fontana per la pavimentazione del terrazzo realizzata in cemento nero e vetro di Murano.
La presenza di Fontana, insieme a quella di Fausto Melotti e Bruno Munari, è disseminata in molti spazi
della casa. Di Melotti sono allineate su una mensola del soggiorno cinque sculture in ottone, tra le più poetiche. L'incontro con Bruno Munari avviene nella Scultura da viaggio che campeggia sul tavolo dello studio e nella scultura mobile appesa sopra il tavolo da pranzo, mentre la presenza di Fontana si fa notare nel graffito con inserti di vetro, davanti alla zona del soggiorno, e in un magnifico olio rosa che sovrasta il tavolo-mensola progettato da Parisi: uno dei mobili più celebri del design del dopoguerra. Personalità di rilievo nel discorso di una concezione integrativa delle arti, questi artisti sono protagonisti di un prolifico rapporto di stimolo e scambio reciproco con Ico Parisi. Altra presenza costante nella casa è quella di Mario Radice, che contribuendo fin dall'inizio alle esperienze architettoniche di Parisi, stringe con lui un sodalizio che li vide complici, oltre che nel lavoro, anche nella vita. Testimoni nella casa di questo legame sono gli oli, i pastelli, ed una fitta serie di disegni. Oltre al tracciato delle presenze assidue in casa Parisi, ce n'è un altro, quello di una mappa degli affetti di Ico e Luisa: ne fanno parte Umberto Boccioni, Mario Schifano, Achille Perilli, Mauro Staccioli. Nell'area ai lati del tavolo da pranzo ecco un multiplo con ritocchi di Lucio del Pezzo, passando nel vano sotto la scala si apre una quadreria di cui si ricordano altre opere di Del Pezzo, ma
queste opere, insieme a alla struttura archittetonica della casa e pezzi di mobilio che hanno fatto la storia del design, si percepiscono come una moltitudine di presenze atte a rendere questo luogo un esempio irripetibile di opera d'arte totale, dove l'apporto dei singoli elementi si trasforma in un gioco di affinità e di equilibri
anche di Enrico Baj, Gianni Colombo, Gaston Chassiac, Giulio Paolini, Franco Vaccari,
interdipendenti. Alcune opere riportano provenienze di gallerie, ma per la grande maggioranza si tratta di lavori giunti direttamente dagli artisti, a sottolineare ancora una volta quanto fosse fondamentale per la prassi generativa delle creazioni di Parisi, l'apporto di una fitta rete di relazioni intessuta tra illustri professionisti del mondo della forma e della visione.
Ico Parisi Collection