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La Casa Dentro Exhibition by Formafantasma

A new take on modernist design.

Collection piece: Armchair, Giustini/Stagetti, © Marco Cappelletti

Milan’s esteemed Fondazione ICA Milano is set to host “La Casa Dentro,” a compelling solo exhibition by Formafantasma that probes deep into themes of personal identity and collective memory, from April 10th to July 19th, 2024. Curated by Alberto Salvadori, the exhibition unveils a new body of work specially developed to critique the canons of Modernism, illuminating its gendered construction and traditionalist views on masculinity.


The exhibition reveals how Modernism, which emerged in the early 20th-century parallel to industrial innovation, often condemned the ‘effeminate’ traits of 19th-century eclecticism. Iconic architects like Adolf Loos and Henry van de Velde championed a style marked by simplicity and authenticity, qualities they deemed sober, rational, and inherently ‘virile’—a stark contrast to the sentimentality and ornamentation of prior periods.

Collection piece: Chair 2, Giustini/Stagetti, © Marco Cappelletti

“La Casa Dentro” by Formafantasma departs from traditional Modernist narratives by using elements like bent tubular metal—a staple in Modernist furniture—to explore the clash between the practical aspects of domesticity and the theoretical underpinnings of Modernist architecture and design ideologies. The exhibit juxtaposes stark, almost clinical arrangements of curved steel with more intimate touches, such as wooden planks featuring hand embroideries, painted floral patterns, and silk volants, all evoking the designers’ childhood memories of home.

Collection piece: Graft, Giustini/Stagetti, © Marco Cappelletti

While deeply personal, the works aim to ‘queer’ the codes of Modernist design, presenting professional education as an imposition of a canon. This exhibition is not only a showcase of unique designs but also a profound meditation on memory, the nostalgia for what is lost, and the challenge of unlearning deeply ingrained ideas.

Collection piece: Cabinet, Giustini/Stagetti, © Marco Cappelletti

“La Casa Dentro” is realized with the support of Galleria Giustini/Stagetti, Rome, and is free to the public. It offers a refreshing narrative on the intersection of design, identity, and memory in the contemporary world.

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