Can architecture be poetry?


16 June 2012 – 13 January 2013
Architecture Archives Centre Study Room

MAXXI Architettura presents an exhibition devoted to the Brion Tomb at San Vito d’Altivole, a masterpiece by the architect Carlo Scarpa. The exhibition is configured in two separate sections: drawings and photographs. On the one hand the original drawings and models relating to the Venetian master’s monument, on the other a sequence of photos by the great Italian photographer Guido Guidi, who has worked on the theme of the Brion Tomb, producing over 600 images.
Both the drawings and the photographs belong to the MAXXI Architettura collections.

Carlo Scarpa | drawings
curated by Guido Pietropoli

Carlo Scarpa (1906/1978), widely known for his glassware, museums, houses and furnishings is also famous for the beautiful drawings of his architecture.
Thanks to a significant body of graphic works, every project may be examined through its “Creative Confession” as in a sequence from a film.
Giuseppe Brion, the founder together with his wife Onorina, of Brion Vega, the famous manufacturer of radios and televisions that have become icons of Italian design, died suddenly on 12 September 1968.
His wife and his son Giuseppe asked Carlo Scarpa to design a family tomb to be built on a plot to the Northeast of the cemetery of S. Vito, the Brion family’s hometown.
10 years’ work and over 2,000 sketches, studies, models and construction drawings separated the first project and the finished tomb.
The drawings reveal Scarpa’s passionate and arduous design process, while each of them represents a self-contained work of the highest quality.
“Architecture can be poetry” is a quote from the title of the conference held by Carlo Scarpa at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts on 16 November 1976.

Guido Guidi | photographs
curated by Francesca Fabiani

Guido Guidi photographed the Brion Tomb for a decade: a research project launched in 1996 through a commission from the CCA in Montreal and which the photographer has since continued independently, producing over 600 images that provide a new and poetically revealing vision of this masterpiece of Scarpa’s architecture.
What is presented in the exhibition is a significant selection of 17 photos based on geometric forms of light and shadow that emerge and dissolve on the walls of the tomb.
Far from any documentary intent, Guidi’s research has investigated the forms and references of the monument through the exploration of the notions of time, space and light.