"Casa Cattaneo: A Jewel of Italian Rationalism" is the first exhibition in English on Cesare Cattaneo's apartment house of 1939 near Como, Italy. This exhibition brings together archival materials from Cattaneo's studio, contemporary photographs and new scholarship to shed light on this paradigmatic example of Italian Rationalism.
Curated by the late Professor Thomas L. Schumacher, the show is based on a monograph published in 2007 by the Italian scholar Nicoletta Ossanna Cavadini. Schumacher adapted the text and wrote new material to help bring the Casa Cattaneo to a new audience in the United States.
A detailed physical model, built with the support of Cattaneo's son Damiano, has been brought to the United States for display in this exhibition.
Cattaneo's work has been overshadowed by that of his teacher and friend, Giuseppe Terragni. This exhibition aims to remedy this by focusing attention on the formal clarity and unique site responses of the Casa Cattaneo, the architect's finest achievement.
The crystallized, geometric abstraction of Casa Cattaneo reveals, more than any other project by the architect, Cattaneo’s personal formal ambitions. At the same time, the building, particularly through its two façades, reveals its relationship to the urban structure of Cernobbio and its debt to the influential modern architecture of Como, Milan and northern Europe.
Schumacher, was a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and published numerous books and articles on Italian Rationalism, in particular Terragni's body of work. Cavadini graduated from the University of Venice, completed her doctoral research at the Polytechnic of Zurich and teaches at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio, in Italian Switzerland.
Built by Mauro Mauri di Olgiate
Sponsored by Damiano Cattaneo
Peter M. James, M.Arch. 2010
Photograph by Lorenzo Mussi
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