Trieste, July– October 2011: “LipanjePuntin

Arte-Contemporanea is proud to present UNITAS MULTIPLEX – A New World, a solo exhibition by  Antonio Pio Saracino.

“In some ways resembling Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned Universal Man – a figure with his arms outstretched towards an ever-expanding world – Antonio Pio Saracino represents a truly contemporary version of the dynamic creator. He is an award-winning Designer and Architect a multi-talented thinker from the computer age, with recent exhibitions held across the continents of Europe, North and South America and Australia.

Currently based in New York and Italy, Antonio Pio Saracino has conceived a refined exhibition for Trieste, including modular furniture, prototypes, architectural interventions, mixed media drawings and the world premiere of his latest design, the Leaf Chair, produced in Brussels (by Materialse) especially for this event.

The Leaf Chair is partly inspired by the structures of vegetation. The “veins” of the chair follow a curvilinear form, thickening and becoming trapezoidal at those points where the pressure of the human body is the greatest. Traditionally, the pressure points of a chair are hidden within the structure, but in the case of the Leaf Chair they are fully revealed. As an object of design, the Leaf Chair is flexible and resistant. The functionality and the organics of its design are transparent.

‘Design is the place between humans and nature,’ says Antonio Pio Saracino. Inspired by such natural forms as plants, bones, animal horns, crystals and microscopic elements, he demonstrates a rare ability to translate these notions into feasible blue-prints for construction.

The exhibition at LipanjePuntin artecontemporanea, curated by Rome-based art critic Jonathan Turner, shows the breadth of Saracino’s fast-growing career, plus his use of vastly different materials. His Molecular Chair made from recycled felt on a metal frame, the Ray Armchair and Sofa constructed from foam, the Modular Chair made from black carbon-fibre and the new, sinuous Blossom Chair in laminated wood, each reveal a different, though linked, sense of aesthetics. This exhibition also includes designs and original screenprints for skyscrapers and domestic objects.

‘If you want to feel the heartbeat and energy of Italy – powerful and emotional at the same time – simply look at the work of Antonio Pio Saracino,’ writes Jin-Young Soo, senior editor at Casa Living magazine published in Seoul in 2010. ‘He perfectly understands the concept of the linear, and how to use straight lines for strength and curved lines for softness. His prime concern is the origin of material and form, and how to create new objects from this unusual sense of empathy.’

Over the past decade, Antonio Pio Saracino’s work has been featured in exhibitions in the U.S., U.K., Belgium, Greece, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and throughout Italy. In 2009, his much-published design for the harbour-side Sydney house of Australian Olympic gold-medal diver Matt Mitcham was included in the Matt Dive Gold show in the former Roman gallery of LipanjePuntin artecontemporanea.

According to Marco Pisani in L’ARCA magazine: ‘Saracino is an emblematic example of progressive Italian creativity in these years of nomadic identity.’ In 2007, he was nominated by ARTnews magazine in New York as one of the world’s 25 most interesting trendsetters.

This solo show is an anteprima to an exhibition which will develop in Trieste as a work-in-progress throughout the summer.” Jonathan Turner