MDW 2023 | AUGUSTO BETTI artista + designer in collaboration with Fondazione Sozzani

  • When:
  • Where:Fondazione Sozzani
    Corso Como 10, Milan

On the occasion of miart and Milan Design Week 2023, Paradisoterrestre in collaboration with Fondazione Sozzani presents the exhibition Augusto Betti. Artista e designer, curated by Gherardo Tonelli.

On view: from Sunday April 16 to Sunday May 14, 2023, every day, from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm, free admission

Special openings Milan Design Week: from Tuesday 18 to Sunday April 23, 2023, from 10.30 am to 9 pm


The result of a process of rediscovery and reevaluation of the fascinating figure of Augusto Betti, the retrospective is dedicated to one of the least known and most surprising creative minds of the 20th century and features his work, which is complex and diverse but always consistent.

Painter and artist experimenting with new theories and materials, pupil of Giorgio Morandi and Giovanni Romagnoli at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna; designer and above all teacher; close associate of Silvio Ceccato, Director of Centro di Cibernetica e di Attività Linguistiche of the University of Milan and Gerardo Filiberto Dasi (Centro Pio Manzù, Rimini). A rich and stimulating life for Augusto Betti who, out of reluctance and character, relegated the outcomes of his creative production to an intimate and private dimension. On the rare occasions when he decided to participate in shows and exhibitions, his name appeared together with important figures in contemporary art such as Marina Apollonio, Agostino Bonalumi, Enrico Castellani, Gianni Colombo, Dadamaino, Lucio Fontana, Ugo La Pietra, Piero Manzoni, and Elio Marchegiani, and his work gained recognition from distinguished critics, including Umbro Apollonio, Giulio Carlo Argan, Palma Bucarelli, Carla Lonzi.

For Betti, art was not an aesthetic but an emotional quest. Stepping outside the classical canons, he found himself deeply exploring different areas: from energy and psychology to the mysteries of life. The exhibition delves into a forward-looking research projected into the future. It is rooted in the historical period in which it was undertaken but, at the same time, is surprisingly contemporary.

Alongside his artworks, on view also design pieces now part of Paradisoterrestre catalogue. Among these, the Noodle armchair (1967), created to explain to students the importance of free gestures in the generation of ideas, and the ceramic tea set – a material of choice from his hometown of Faenza – which Betti describes as his “most successful design object” (1975). Presented for the first time the re-editions of the Prisma armchair and sofa (1971), conceived during lectures to his students, and the Glass coffee table (1967), a smoked glass element whose cubic conformation allows for different compositional variations.

From the archive managed by his daughter Cristiana Betti come the very rare artworks from the “cassette” series (1959-1961); the resin and fiberglass sculptures Pulsazioni (1964), Scatola dei sentimenti (1964), Struttura equilibrante (1964), Obelisco (1965), Ballerina (1965), Vibrazioni (1967), Orgonoscopio (1967), Camera con lenti (1969); and also Austere chair and table (1967), Parete luce lamp (1967), Foemina chair (1967), Ciclope chair (1972).


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