Luciano Baldessari and Lucio Fontana, Scalone d’Onore – IX Triennale di Milano, Italy, 1951
At the IX Triennale Luciano Baldessari designed the main atrium and the staircase. Even though the environment of the entrance hall is orthogonal, architect decided to recreate it and form it into geometries that consist of curvilinear and soft shapes. That is why the wall in the background of the staircase was slightly bent and the ceiling was covered in neon tubes, called “cirrus light” designed by Lucio Fontana. To provide more differentiation the architect decided to use blue color for the ceiling above the stairs, purple for the floor and the white and grey for the walls.
His job was not only to design the entrance hall, but also choose representation of the works of the artists that were invited to the Triennale. The selection of the artists was very strict, as they needed to represent a wide range of artistic fertility, but with the actual value of the artist and not only his theoretical ideas.
Baldessari’s idea was to experiment with the concept of the “unity of the arts”, so not only exposing at the same time and place works from different artists but also creating a common architectural space extending over every part of the surface, from the walls, to the floors and ceilings. He wanted to show a synthetic vision that the possibilities of the figurative arts today have an unavoidable link with modern architecture.
- Baldessari, Scheme of maximum for the program of the Ninth Triennale, 3 December 1950; Archivio Storico Fondazione La Triennale, Milan