Ritratto di donna.
Il sogno degli anni Venti
e lo sguardo di Ubaldo Oppi

Vicenza, Basilica palladiana, 6 December 2019 - 3 May 2020
Curated by Stefania Portinari

The Exhibition

The exhibition, designed by the architect Antonio Ravalli, is designed to make the Palladian Basilica always accessible, open, and available as a monument even during temporary exhibitions. In fact, upon entering, there is an actual “square” that allows the visitor to admire the great hall. It is made up of fourteen 3.5-meter-high self-supporting walls that are 60 centimeters wide to contain the conditioning systems. It is designed as modular blocks in black metal and equipped with mechanisms that easily allow their movement and connection to create a chosen layout. The presence of glass display cases, designed explicitly within the path, answers the need to display specific objects and unique pieces.

The lighting system, integrated into the set-up, is configured as a second level that rests on the structure of the exhibition walls. The system of tracks in which it is articulated is composed of an aluminum and bronze profile which also has a lower provision for housing the electrified rail. This system rests on the walls to ensure structural stability.

The wooden ceiling of the Basilica is visible thanks to the third order of wall-washer lights pointing towards its roof. This lighting creates a suspension effect of the dome on the interior layout, amplifying the dialogue between container and content.

The walls of the exhibition, arranged in the hall to host the works during the exhibitions, are instead gathered and compacted to form a parallelepiped of about 8x8 meters and 3.5 meters high. In the absence of exhibits, these allow us to read the architecture in its entirety and admire the upside-down hull-shaped basilica ceiling.

Antonio Ravalli, the founder of the studio Antonio Ravalli Architects of Ferrara, pays particular attention to interpreting contemporary space. He explains this with a consequent careful choice of materials and their use, both on a traditional and experimental level. Applied research places great interest in light, which becomes the first tool to articulate and differentiate architectural spaces.

Already in his initial years of work, he paid great attention to the relationship between art and architecture, and the desire to bring figures and objects together within a welcoming setting. Ravalli consolidates this binomial through several collaborations with Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara where he completes various museum exhibits including “Stati d’animo” and “Boldini e la moda”. The architect also worked on the design of installations outside the collaboration with Palazzo Diamanti, including a most recent one in the exhibition “Leonardo e Vitruvio” in Fano.

He has held the chair of architectural design at the Faculty of Architecture of Ferrara, where he continues to support the professional commitment to research, a crucial moment of discussion, knowledge, and comparison with other experiences.