Shedding Light: Candles amid art and design.


Designers and artists reinterpret a domestic object from days gone by, but one that also never ceases to amaze us: the candle, an archaic artefact for the everyday taming of fire. Curated by Beppe Finessi.

The exhibition “Shedding Light: Candles amid art and design” was held during Design Week 2012, from 5 April to 21 May at Museo Poldi Pezzoli.
Curated by Beppe Finessi, the show was the result of historical and critical reflections on the candle: an object of bygone days that nevertheless – even in an era of increasingly widespread and accelerated technological innovation – never fails to fascinate. The candle brightens and warms, in a sort of everyday harnessing of fire.
The exhibition presented about fifty works, including design objects (candles and candlesticks) and contemporary art – painting, sculpture and installation.
There were three sections:
– the first, in the Salone dell’Affresco, contained creations by renowned designers alongside works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by candles.

These included the piece Candles made by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 1967. The artist was on hand for the opening with a special gesture: lighting the candles that are not just the title but also the material of the work, he “illuminated” the start of the exhibition itself. Other works of contemporary art included creations by Luis Frangella, Pierpaolo Calzolari and Bonomo Faita.
– the second, in the Sala Trivulzio, presented objects that take their form and image from candles: like the lamp by Marcel Wanders that can be turned on by blowing on a flame-shaped light bulb.
– the third, in the Sala del Collezionista, contained a selection of objects that although they belong to the tradition (candlesticks, just to cite one example) are going through a period of lively typological innovation: from the projects of great architects like O.M. Ungers and Richard Meier, to those of masters of design like Bruno Munari and Philippe Starck, to the works of new protagonists on the international scene like Giulio Iacchetti, Ora-ïto, Maarten Baas and Donata Paruccini.
“Fare Lume”, the exhibition curated by “INVENTARIO”, was coordinated and sponsored by Foscarini. This choice reflects the company’s versatile approach: to create interaction amongst different art forms – design, photography, painting, sculpture – to offer viewers new and unusual experiences.