Milan – There were no tell-tale INTERNI banners outside of Via Edmondo de Amicis 19, a nondescript apartment building in the burgeoning Carrobbio neighbourhood, located between Tortona and 5Vie. No special signs on the doorbell on the 10th floor, which houses the office of PR agency Strategic Footprints. The doorman in the lobby would offer a succinct, ‘If you’re here for the Salone thing, hit 10 on the lift, first door once you’re out, and they’ll tell you what to do.’
If you didn’t venture out to follow those steps in this scavenger hunt, like many curious and puzzled people did, you surely missed one of the most charming, touching and downright pleasing exhibitions in Fuorisalone: Land, Masquespacio’s tribute to the contemporary beauty of the humble terracotta.
Their client, Impruneta-based manufacturer Poggi Ugo, turns 100 this year. Known worldwide for its high-quality production of mostly outdoor clay pieces, the company saw this landmark anniversary as an opportunity to celebrate the underrated beauty and future potential of… well, land. ‘We wanted to look ahead and anticipate the lines and shapes that best represented the taste of tomorrow,’ explained fourth-generation CEO Lorenzo Andrei.
So, along with curator Valentina Guidi Ottobri – she of Luisaviaroma fame – they welcomed 19 new decidedly contemporary pieces into their catalogue. The standouts are Mask, a flat, Mayan-like visage with embedded tinted crystal; Skyscrapers, a set of table vases that brings the 3D-render aesthetic over to the more earthy side, and the improbably stout-yet-floating Eternal, a Componibili-like modular library. The pieces by themselves were a revelation, proving how a traditional material could learn new tricks – and in a Fuorisalone edition massively populated by blobby pieces that came out of filament printers, the presence of that familiar orange surface brought along a much welcomed infusion of warmth.