Fregio: new expression of light that combines contemporaneity with age-old know-how — Design: Andrea Anastasio
A sculptural representation of Foscarini’s desire to introduce new expressive languages, FREGIO is a project that transforms a floral glazed ceramic bas relief into a new suspension and wall lamp.
Created in collaboration with the historic Gatti workshop of Faenza, known for its collaborations with outstanding artists, FREGIO is a work that has been developed as the evolution of the experimentation launched by the Battiti research project: an exploration of the value and meaning of decoration through the interaction between light and ceramics, presented by Foscarini during the Fuorisalone 2022. For Battiti, Anastasio has conducted research in the Gatti archives, dissecting works and reassembling them with light, overturning traditional logic to generate novel forms and meanings.
“FREGIO is the result of research on the relationship between light and volume”, Andrea Anastasio remarks. “For centuries these bas relief panels adorned residential interiors or the exteriors of houses and palaces, only to vanish with the advent of the modern era. But they are very interesting for people interested in light. The bas relief feeds on light, otherwise its volume disappears. So to make it become a light source was a serendipitous game, inserted in a logic of reflection between material and thought”.
Antique and contemporary at the same time, FREGIO is an ornamental lamp whose decoration is the outcome of free experimentation; working on bas relief fragments from the Gatti archive which are then reassembled, Anastasio has not set out to “add content, but to generate new signs through a gesture that alters the overall nature of something that already exists”.
To accomplish this, he explains, he has let himself be “guided by the logic of cut-and-paste, namely a very contemporary compositional approach. To decide on the sequence of the reassembly, I have relied on an emotional aesthetic. What I wanted was to offer the observer the right timing, so the image would be revealed little by little. The viewer who enters a relationship with FREGIO has to be able to grasp the overall complexity of the composition, though in fact it has been generated by a very simple gesture”.
FREGIO is a horizontal composition, an impressive and highly decorative lamp; the suspension version is ideal for lighting tables or desks, with both downward and upward light emission.
The two ceramic sections are anchored to a metal profile containing LEDs, thanks to two straps placed at the extremities. These purely structural presences borrowed from the lexicon of packing and international shipping of goods become the binder and connection between two clearly contrasting dimensions: on the one hand, the constructive mechanics of the contemporary fixture; on the other, the ornate floral decoration.
The dual identity of FREGIO, with its function of lighting and its taste for narration, make it an object that establishes a dialogue with space even when the lamp is off. FREGIO comes in a suspension version measuring 120cm, and a wall version with a length of 75cm, in the colours matte white and berrettino and glossy red.