The Roots section sheds light on the origins of Missoni’s research, their initial resources and sources of inspiration in the fields of visual arts and fashion. The background is the birth of the historical avant-garde in Europe, from the lyrical abstract art of Sonia Delaunay, which inevitably goes together with Kandinsky and Klee, to the Futurism of Balla and Severini, and the success of groups, magazines and studies in the 1930s that aimed to give a definition to painting and geometric sculpture of a constructivist and concrete nature.
In this context an expressive language is established based on the rhythmic composition of shapes and colours used with purity, a language that the Missonis translate and rework in the central motifs of their creative process. (AC)
IL COLORE, LA MATERIA, LA FORMA
The exhibition continues with a series of immersive installations designed by Luca Missoni and Angelo Jelmini, and characterised by a deep fusion between the pursuits for material and colour influenced by fashion design and environmental dimensions and borrowed from the visual arts. For the Missonis, making clothes means making room for colour, material and form, which are imagined and moulded according to a strict, personal aesthetic quest. This is confirmed by these large spectacular installations that bring the visitor closer to the elasticity of the material and the pursuit of different shades of colour, showcasing the elegance and softness of the yarn and knitted fabric, which is the maison’s principal stylistic feature and is also documented by the more than one hundred historical garments here on display. (EZ)
The dialogues between the hectic creativity of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni and the Italian visual culture are incredibly intense between the 1950s and the 1980s. An extensive selection of works, some of which also come from the MA*GA collection, documents this consistent relationship: the references and the persisting and varying motifs can be seen again in piece after piece. We find canvases by Ottavio Missoni side by side with the great masters of Italian abstract art from the post Second World War period, from the creators of “Forma 1”, such as Dorazio and Accardi, to the MAC (the Movement of Concrete Art) of Munari and Dorfles, and even the optical and kinetic experimentations of Dadamaino and Colombo. We also notice how the use of signs and colour becomes more esoteric and conceptual between the 1970s and the 1980s, which gives us a completely new, independent key to interpreting the many studies and sketches drawn by Ottavio Missoni. (AC)
The exhibition reveals a brand-new installation in the final room that enables us to compare Ottavio Missoni’s most significant works in one large space. These works form a series of large tapestries made with knitted patchwork which are displayed in a space designed by Luca Missoni and Angelo Jelmini to be as spectacular as it is evocative. This choice of space underlines just how extremely important the tapestries were to Ottavio Missoni, who chose tapestry as his sole technique for artistic expression starting from the 1970s, because it offered a unique way to concentrate his unlimited and wide-ranging interests in material and colour in both fashion and in art. (AC