At the end of the fifties, Angelo Mangiarotti, master of Italian design of the 1900, drew a luxurious table with clear and minimal outlines and to produce it, he made use of the best mastery of art of that time in Milan: Fonderia Artistica Battaglia.
The NERO gallery idea of creating a link between historical Italian design and
contemporary design was produced by this important and strong experience of the past, which was born from the skilled hands and artisan aptitude of Italians.
NERO gallery asks Roberto Baciocchi, a brilliant and versatile architect, to work with bronze, a noble material. This is how ÉCORCE collection was born, it’s inspired by
nature shapes to stress the essence, the pureness and the magnificence of bronze and is realized with the help of the strong knowledge and professionalism of artists like Fonderia Artistica Battaglia who, for more than a century, started the best the Italian art could produce.
Roberto Baciocchi is among the international founders of the architectural interpretation of commercial premises in the luxury field. His activity, world-wide acknowledged and recognizable, is characterized by innovation – yet in full compliance with the standards and the DNA of the brands it refers to – and by the attention to and respect for the historical, architectural and social context of the environments, buildings and countries he works in. The research and development of every single piece of furniture, the conception of the show-windows, the lighting and a specific care for the details are further prerogatives of all of his projects.
Attracted to the aesthetics as a cultural expression, in a historical moment of deep changes in society and customs, Roberto Baciocchi was able to seize the way fashion, in its full growth in the Italy of the 70’s, was becoming a real phenomenon – and not just a mere appendix – in a world that was changing its basic standards.
Such an insight led him to be one of the first to re-interpret luxury stores in a modern key and on a new basis, relieving them of concepts now unsuitable for the evolution of shopping and introducing shapes with minimal lines, yet with all due respect to the architectural connections, the materials and the elements contributing to the identity of a brand. Besides being the interpreter of all Prada stores around the world, to date, numerous projects at national and international level, to which Roberto Baciocchi and the Studio are dedicated, works involving both big luxury brand and small excellence, with same care to the research and creation of uniqueness.
Fonderia Artistica Battaglia was established in 1913 by three founding members: Ercole Battaglia, Giulio Pogliani and Riccardo Frigerio. Ever since its foundation, Battaglia manufactured artistic bronzes by lost-wax casting, a technique based on pouring moulted metal into the hollow core left by melted wax. The wax model (positive) is made using a silicone mould that reproduces a precise and detailed copy of the original artist’s model. The spurted wax model disappears when placed in special hot ovens to dry out the mould. This method guarantees the most detailed and refined surfaces textures. Throughout the years, Battaglia has casted works by artists such as Arturo Martini, Francesco Messina, Ludovico Pogliani, Marino Marini, Giacomo Manzù and, after the Second World War, Luciano Minguzzi, Giò and Arnaldo Pomodoro, Lucio Fontana. Among the many renowned artworks produced by Battaglia are the majestic bronze gate of the Duomo di Milano by Giannino Castiglioni; the statue of the Madonna della Guardia by Narciso Cassino (one of the largest casts at that time, 14m high) and the gate of the Duomo di Siena (1958) by Enrico Manfrini. Yet Battaglia’s most famous artworks, the ones for which it will always be remembered by future generations to come, are RAI’s horse by Francesco Messina (1961); the copies of the Byzantine’s Horses above the Basilica di San Marco in Venice; Arnaldo Pomodoro’s Spheres in the Vatican’s Cortile della Pigna and the Sphere outside the ONU’s headquarters in New York; Floriano Bodini’s monument “The Göttingen Seven” in Hannover and his renowned “Holy Door” of the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano for the 2000 Jubilee in Rome. Among other artists, Battaglia is currently in collaboration with Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Francesco Arena, Kengiro Azuma, Giacomo Benevelli, Giuseppe Penone, Benedetto Pietrogrande, Michel Saint Olive, Abdullah Selim, Nico Vascellari, Serena Vestrucci, Vihls, Velasco Vitali, Peter Wächtler. Since 2013, Fonderia Artistica Battaglia has researched into a variety of surface finishes and possible patinas for bronze. Battaglia catalogued over 150 different chromatic reactions thus generating one of the most important archives for patinas in the world. The foundry’s Department of Scientific Restoration and Conservation is under the direction of a restorer graduated at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence. It allows the preservation and study of both ancient and modern bronze sculptures. In 2014 Fonderia Artistica Battaglia begun an experimental project involving some of the most important professionals of the contemporary art design scene.
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