“When birch tree forests are pruned or agricultural cultivations of fruit trees are picked, they are dispersed or burned. I have always been fascinated by these parts of nature, that continue to give off a grand expressive force, more powerful when they are combined with modern, perfect and industrial materials. They become mysterious, always diverse, unique, unrepeatable and somewhat sacred presences.
Trees, trunks and branches are part of our ancient culture but also of actual culture, because in the age of globalization, design searches to trace recognizable ‘anthropologoical’ platforms. The collection, ‘Trees’ consists to place simple, everyday objects, books, and images next to the strange presence of branches and trunks, like in the reality of the world.”
In a short time, Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris has already treated us to a regular and rich demonstration of Design Art: in March, Andrea Branzi will be given space to express himself as a free and committed thinker with this new collection « Trees ».
In a space that was once the Galerie de France, a place where contemporary art flourished, Catherine Thieck will come back to pose a few objects from her own collection on the shelves of Andrea Branzi. Works by Marcel Duchamp, Constantin Brancusi, Méret Oppenheim and Rebecca Horn will fill the shelves
of an artist whose personality and preoccupations have remained consistently at the avant-garde of the architecture and design world.
The Italian architect and designer Andrea Branzi, born in 1938, was ahead of his time in Florence in 1966 when he set up Archizoom associati, the first, internationally renowned avant-garde group. In order to define this remarkable character, one must use the vocabulary of projects: theoretical research, new design, experimental laboratory, leeway, mass creativity, new organisation… He also knows how to share his battles, he coordinates and curates exhibitions, he regularly exhibits his personal work, publishes manifestos, teaches generations of students and participates in conferences all over the world. In fact, multiple spaces would be needed to cover all angles of the man: a screening room, an auditorium, a museum and more than a few metres of shelf space.
Andrea Branzi is passionate about the morphology of urban space; he breaks down the accepted codes and vigorously shakes the foundations of the ever-present conventions. Today more than ever, this insatiable troublemaker continues to disrupt the status quo and places humans and nature at the centre of his thinking.
« Trees » represents a continuation of his thinking on architecture. He creates a minimalist space of shelves, veritable pieces of micro-architecture made from aluminium that spread out in neo-plastic bursts like a Mondrian. However, through the splits in the frame, Andrea Branzi introduces trunks and twigs gathered in the wild. This strange encounter that began in the eighties with « Animali domestici », questions the duality of the nature-culture relationship.
With « Trees », he adds a dimension, an extra slice of soul, as nature becomes art, a contemporary icon, an emotional window linked to the knowledge of the vital importance of this precious, common heritage.
Branzi’s artistic approach consists of an attempt to connect the industrial world to the poetry of nature. This can be seen clearly in his collection Tree. He notes, “Trees, trunks, and branches are part of our ancient culture, but also of actual culture, because in the age of globalization, design seeks to trace recognizable anthropological platforms.”
Architect and designer Andrea Branzi is known for his intellectual approach to design. Branzi was born in Florence, Italy in 1938. Today he lives and works in Milan. From 1964 to 1974 he was a partner in the internationally renowned design studio Archizoom Associati, whose projects are now in the Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione in Parma and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Since 1967 he has worked in the fields of industrial and research design, architecture, urban planning, education, and cultural promotion. He is a professor at the Politecnico di Milano and has given lectures and seminars as a visiting professor in Italy, France, Holland, Belgium, England, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Thailand, and the United States.
Branzi is also a freelance writer whose essays have appeared in major publications. He has published several volumes with the MIT Press. He has also exhibited design work at the Venice Biennale and the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, among many others.
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