Tucked away within a Milanese palazzo, at the heart of the Brera art district, the two intimate spaces of Erastudio Apartment Gallery feature exposed walls and polished floors, bringing a feeling of new extravagance to the rawness of the architecture’s history. Gallery founder and architect Patrizia Tenti’s approach to the studio’s interior reflects the essence of the unique art and design pieces she curates—a marriage of the tactile qualities of the past and the cutting edge refinement of contemporary technologies. “Unusual Alloys” embodies this marriage, both in the metallic amalgamations of the works on display, and in its combination of vintage and recent objects.
Giuseppe Friscia’s wall-mounted works—slightly convex aluminum discs, variously marked with lines and blocks of color along smooth black planes—are hung across the exhibition, including one above the sleek lines of a table by Anne Bianchet, another hovering over the semicircular forms of Carlo Trucchi. Geometric light fixtures by Bianchet also appear, which, like Friscia’s circles, might recall the grids and ethos of De Stijl—reaching a harmony between art and life through the reduction of forms—with their irregular but elegant brass frames. Nanda Vigo’s lavish, rotatable coat rack (Un Appendiabiti, 1971), crafted in brass upholstered with synthetic leopard print and topped with a neon light, is typical of the master designer’s sensual and surprising approach to materials.
Atop Trucchi’s iron and brass table, 8 Marzo (2015), trained jewellery designer Riccardo Goti’s candleholders, linked by a web of fine chains, are laid out. The shapes of Goti’s petite golden cylinders are reflected in the mirrored shine of Trucchi’s tabletop, which is composed of two semi-circular planes fashioned from brass, oxidized over time with natural acids—a favored process of Trucchi. Tenti calls Trucchi’s work “fossilized furniture,” due to the way the metals’ finishes are often achieved by burying them below ground until they become marked by leaves and water, bearing complex, earthy patterns. Nature continues to inspire Trucchi: the Crystal Formation table encases metallic hexagonals beneath a layer of resin, referencing the process of crystallisation as well as a lineage of designed luxury.
The organic details of the "8 Marzo" table by Carlo Trucchi reflected in Simon Ricart’s mirror realized in pure copper and gold finishing. Courtesy Erastudio Apartment Gallery
Together, the works’ metallic combinations make for a gilded and extravagant exhibition, where mysterious elemental reactions are balanced by the precision of craftsmanship and the rules of geometry.