December 20, 2017 - Power Station of Art - Superstudio 50
December 20, 2017

Power Station of Art

Superstudio, Reflected Architecture, 1970. Lithograph.

Superstudio 50
December 16, 2017–March 11, 2018

Vernissage: December 15, 12–9pm

Power Station of Art
678 Miaojiang Road
200011 Shanghai
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +86 21 3110 8550

On December 16, the Power Station of Art will officially present Superstudio 50, the critically acclaimed Italian architecture group’s first complete retrospective in Asia, as PSA’s year-end special event to conclude 2017.

Curated by Gabriele Mastrigli, the exhibition is also the first to be conceived together with the Superstudio members, Adolfo Natalini, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia and Gian Piero Frassinelli as a sort of scientific autobiography of the group's career. It brings together and presents such a quantity and variety of pieces, over 200, ranging from installations to objects, from graphic works to photographs and through to publications, set in a chronological order that covers the entire career and development of the group.

Founded in Florence, Italy in December 1966, Superstudio gained its fame by first presenting their work in the Superarchitettura show at the Jolly 2 art gallery in Pistoia, before it moved on to become one of the most influential groups of the world avant-garde scene during the 1970s and 1980s. Now 50 years on from its foundation, the PSA retrospective tries to revisit the legendary architecture group’s origin, by looking at materials such as posters, publications and a wide show of “backstage” photographs that the group realized since the beginning of its activity, in a bid to restore the milestone career premiere to the maximum.

In addition, Superstudio 50 presents, among other works, the most important drawings, photomontages and installations from projects including The Continuous Monument series (1969), the Architectural Histograms (1969–70) and The Twelve Ideal Cities (1971), through which the group demonstrated the possibilities and limits of architecture understood as instrument of a critique of society.

It also gathers a number of Superstudio’s iconic design objects such as the Bazaar (1969) and the Sofa (1968, produced by Giovanetti and Poltronova respectively) or the Gherpeand and Passiflora lamps (1967 and 1968, both produced by Poltronova), all symbols of the groups’ long-standing influences that can still be seen in today’s design scene.

Coming to Asia for the first time, the group’s videos are also a special focus of the PSA exhibition, which includes the previously unseen Continuous Monument, a project from 1969 of which only the storyboard existed. Also screening will be the films of The Fundamental Acts (1971–73), Superstudio’s most ambitious attempt to tackle the relationship between life and design, which while on the one hand proposes an anthropological and philosophical refoundation of architecture, on the other progressively free the individual energies of the group which officially broke up in the early 1980s.

“For them (Superstudio), architecture is a form of thinking, it is a philosophy more than simply a building technique. Thus the exhibition is a critical reflection about their contribution to architecture, and about architecture itself.”Says curator Gabriele Mastrigli.

Paying homage to the extraordinary group of creative talents, Gong Yan, Director of PSA, commented: “Superstudio 50 was an essential extension of PSA’s Mobile Architecture: Yona Friedman exhibition that took place in 2015. With a conceptual shift from Utopia to Dystopia, Superstudio represented the official decline of the Utopian Architecture Movement that was prevalent across Europe from the 1950s to the 1970s. Eventually dissolving into life’s triviality, Utopia became a legend and cultural heritage. By reviewing this particular history of radical architecture, the exhibition helps provoke, from the perspectives of philosophy, sociology and psychology, questions about the nature of architecture and mankind’s future urban life forms that go beyond architecture itself.”

Media contact: media [​at​]

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