In this latest episode of Private View, post-war Italian artist Nanda Vigo welcomes us into her Milano apartment which houses an extensive collection of her work. Director Nicoló Terraneo captures the installations, tropical plants and animal cages that burst through Vigo’s home in this film describing the catalyst behind her esoteric six-decade-strong opus—light. Vigo’s home is furnished with memories of a life shared with the most important European art icons and a passion for sci-fi, the place is revealed to be her own Starship Enterprise,” Terraneo comments. With works thematically titled Deep Space, Chronotopes and Light Trek, Vigo has inspired a new generation of artists to see light as a medium that gives shape to the immateriality of space.
The Milanese avant-gardiste has been a pioneer of minimalist contemporary Italian sculpture, design and architecture since the 1960s—and has been exhibited in over 400 solo and group shows. Vigo was also honored during Milan Design Week 2018 with a retrospective of her work. The show, which featured light-emitting obelisks, fluorescent trees, and reflective surfaces, showcased Vigo’s ability to create timeless objects that question our sensorial perceptions of light in liminal spaces.
The post-war energy of modernism and innovation gave rise to movements such as Zero, a German-founded artist collective that welcomed figures like Vigo, Yves Klein, Gio Ponti, and father of Spatialism, Lucio Fontana. Zero based its practice in new materials including glass, mirror, aluminium and neon to explore the nature of light and movement with the aim to “trigger personalized images in the viewer’s psyche in order to gain intuitive freedom,” Vigo explained in her 2014 exhibition Zero in the Mirror.
In this film that voyages through the studio-home of “Italy’s grande dame of radical design,” as the director describes, Vigo is unveiled as an intrepid intergalactic explorer who has no less than accepted the honorable challenge of using light to understand the primordial alphabet of the cosmos.