Nanda Vigo (1936 – 2020) was born in Milan and graduated from the Institute Polytechnique of Lausanne. Since 1959, she has exhibited her work in galleries and museums in Europe and Italy; she is part of Gruppo Zero, with which she still exhibits, and she has also collaborated and exhibited with Gio Ponti and Lucio Fontana.

In 1965 she curated the legendary exhibition “ZERO avantgarde” in Lucio Fontana’s Milan studio. Vigo’s work is interdisciplinary, combining art, design, architecture and the environment, and she is involved with numerous projects as an architect, designer and artist. What distinguishes her lively career is attention to and research into Art, something which has pushed her to collaborate with some of the most significant figures of our time and to always undertake projects aimed at promoting Art, such as the exhibition “Italian Zero & avantgarde 60’s” at the MAMM Museum in Moscow in 2011.

In 2014/2015, she exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as part of retrospectives dedicated to ZERO.Between 2013 and the beginning of 2016, she has been the focus of several solo exhibitions: “Nanda Vigo Lights Forever”, Allegra Ravizza Gallery, Lugano, “Affinitàelette” (“Eligible affinities”) at the San Fedele Centre in Milan and then at the Lercaro Foundation in Bologna, “Zero in the mirror” at the Volker Diehl Gallery in Berlin, as well as the more recent “Nanda Vigo” at the SperoneWestwater Gallery in New York.

She participated in the XXI Triennale (21st Century. Design After Design) and in 2016 presented her first monumental work, “Exoteric Gate”, which was exhibited in the Ca’ Granda courtyard of the University of Milan. In 2017 she took part in the exhibition “Fantasy access code” at the Palazzo Reale in Milan and the K11 Museum in Shanghai, in collaboration with Alcantara, in “Socle du Monde, Biennale 2017” at the Heart Museum in Herning, in Denmark, and in the exhibition “Lucio Fontana. Ambienti/Environment” at Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan.


In the exhibition “Fantasy Access Code. Alcantara and 6 artists on a journey through the Apartment of the Prince” (Milan, Royal Palace, 28 March to 30 April 2017), promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan – Culture, Royal Palace and Alcantara, Nanda Vigo and other 5 international artists reinterpreted a space with strong historical connotations along contemporary lines. The outcome is a choral itinerary, both multi-faceted and unitary, put together as a series of ‘cabinets of curiosities’ which has made it possible to bring the Apartment back to life as a boundless source of inspiration.

The overture to the exhibition is entrusted to the Italian artist Nanda Vigo (Milan, 1936) with CRASH (in the Royal Palace), an intervention which explores the great variety of textures and shades of Alcantara, destabilising visitors even before they enter the actual heart of the show.

The first room is ‘go’, like the starting square found on all the best board games: a spaceship has crash-landed into Palazzo Reale, wedged between the walls of the room, and the impact has opened up a passageway onto a new world, the bright and beautiful colours of an alien garden, complete with a sprinkling fountain of light.

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In occasion of the Alcantara – MAXXI project / Studio Visit, where a well-established designer proposes his or her personal interpretation of a work from the permanent collection, Nanda Vigo presented Arch/arcology (2-25 February 2018). Nanda Vigo designed for MAXXI a space that visitors can enter and move around in, born as a tribute to the visionary architect Paolo Soleri (founder of Arcosanti – Arizona 1970; creator of the “Archology” concept – ecological architecture), whose works are kept in the MAXXI Architettura collection.

In the designer’s project, one of Soleri’s great design is reborn in a totally original dimension and the paper’s two-dimensionality becomes an immersive space, allowing us to truly enter the design. This is a unique opportunity for the public to get to the heart of a critical examination by an author who pays a personal tribute to a master of the past.

In the centre of the hall, composed of three walls designed as a black backdrop open at the front, the designer created a sculpture representing Single Cantilever bridge, one of Soleri’s designs from the 1960s. On the walls are displayed three-dimensional developments of some designs that the architect had represented only in drawings.

As a soundtrack I have chosen a selection of songs by Franco Battiato, perfectly “pitched” for Soleri’s work.

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