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Carlo Scarpa & Tobia Scarpa - Dialogo sospeso

Carlo Scarpa & Tobia Scarpa - Dialogo sospeso
03 Jul 2012

Carlo Scarpa © Svegliado and his son Tobia Scarpa © Riccardo Crosetta

Since 2003, the Museum of Decorative Arts of Bordeaux organizes regularly exhibitions of design. This year, the museum presents the work of the venetian architect Tobia Scarpa and the work of his father, Carlo, who died in 1978 and with whom he was first an apprendice, then a business partner. Tobia took an active role in the organization of this exhibition which gathers, for the first time, the work of both creators.

Carlo Scarpa - Monumental Complexe Brion, 1969-1978, San Vito © Alberto Vendrame, Studio Scarpa

More than thirty years after his death, Carlo Scarpa (1906 Venice–1978 Sendai, Japan) is still considered one of Italy’s more important architects. During his long career from the 20’s until the 70’s, most of his work is settled in Venetia. His name is renown due to the restaurations of historical buidings such as the Correr museum, the Castelvecchio museum, and the Querini fondation among others.

Carlo Scarpa - Sculpture Crescita © Alberto Vendrame, Studio Scarpa

One of his last projects, left incomplete at the time of his death, was completed in 2006 by his son Tobia: the Villa Palazzetto in Monselice. Besides the mentioned projects, Scarpa’s most significant works are the Gipsoteca Canoviana at the Canova Museum in Possagno (1955-1957), the Castelvecchio museum in Verona (1954-1956), and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (1961-1963) where his great awareness of the city’s history provides a new dimension. One of the most ambitious landscape and garden projects of his career is the Brion Sanctuary at San Vito d’Altivole in Veneto, realized between 1969 and 1978.

Tobia Scarpa - Carafe Moretta, 1990 © Tobia Scarpa

Tobia Scarpa, Carlo Scarpa’s son, has been working in architecture and design for almost 40 years. First with Afra Bianchin, then alone, he has designed objects, furniture, lamps, office buildings, houses, factories, museums, and showrooms –more than 400 realizations–. In all his work we find beautiful experiments of the potential of the materials, the change of the relationships between forms and functions, and a new understanding of the space where they reside.

The first design pieces of Tobia Scarpa dates back to 1957 at the Paolo Venini's glass factory in which his father worked during years. In 1957, he meets Afra Bianchin (Montebelluna, on 1937 - Trevignano, on 2011) at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia. For a test at the Istituto, he designs a prototype of a wooden chair, the armchair Pigreco, an example of simplicity, that is edited first by Santabona, then by Gavina. During almost 40 years, they imagined design objects: furniture, lamps edited by big manufacturers (Knoll, Molteni, Maxalto, Flos), while leading at the same time architect's activity.

Tobia Scarpa - Pigreco, 1959, for Santabona © Giorgio Furla

In 1970, their armchair Soriana was rewarded with the Compasso d'Oro. Generally Tobia Scarpa's seats are made by elements such as construction sets. The chair Liberta? from 1989 is an assembly of two parts folded and screwed. Afra Bianchin and Tobia Scarpa drew tens of lamps, most for a new brand: Flos. Thanks to the manufacturing process Cocoon, they created the lamp Fantasma, then the lamp Jucker. In 1968, they designed the table lamp, Biagio, made of Carrara marble; they also designed the floor lamp Papillona, and created a large collection of silversmith objects for San Lorenzo.

Exhibition: Carlo Scarpa & Tobia Scarpa - Dialogo sospeso
Musée des Arts De?coratifs de Bordeaux, France
From September 14 2012 to December 31 2012 

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