Design | October 12, 2022 |

Formafantasma Manitoga 009
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center
May 13 – November 14, 2022

Magazzino Italian Art is pleased to announce its collaboration with Manitoga / The Russel Wright Design Center to present Formafantasma at Manitoga’s Dragon Rock: Designing Nature. The installation will be on view at the DesignCenter from May 13 through November 14, 2022. Always interested in the complex relationship between design and the natural world, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of the design duo Formafantasma present a selection of works in dialogue with Manitoga – the house, studio and surrounding landscape of the renowned American designer Russel Wright (1904-1976).

Formafantasma Manitoga 006
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

An iconic example of modernist architecture in the idyllic Hudson Valley region, Wright’s home and studio – known as “Dragon Rock” – is made of stone, wood and glass, and was conceived in dialogue with the landscape in which it was constructed. Since founding the studio, Trimarchi and Farresin have developed a coherent body of work characterized by experimental material investigations and have explored issues such as the relationship between tradition and local culture, critical approaches to sustainability and the significance of objects as cultural conduits.

Formafantasma Manitoga 004
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

This installation offered the chance to encounter Wright’s work outside of his mastery of industrial design, and they took a collaborative approach to their curation to ensure that the works on view engage in critical conversation with their surroundings. The selection of objects that will be on view at Dragon Rock, presented in harmony with the architecture of the space, focuses primarily on Formafantasma’s early works. In these pieces, the research of materials and preference for the organic, encounter – in both familiar and unexpected ways – Wright’s experimental attitude and his vision of architecture as an extension of the surrounding landscape.

Formafantasma Manitoga 003
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

This installation showcases the parallel nature of Formafantasma and Wright’s practices; each working intuitively with their surroundings in order to produce a seamless collaboration. However, for Trimarchi and Farresin, selecting work for the installation required the additional consideration of the many pre-existing narratives already in conversation at Manitoga; that of the house, of the landscaping and of Wright’s personal practice. In the end, the curatorial process unearthed a fruitful recognition of architecture within their own work and allowed them to treat the house not merely as a gallery space, but rather to introduce the objects in a nuanced and seamless way.

Formafantasma Manitoga 005
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

Though the duo has shown their work many times in the United States and has collaborated with museums on acquisitions, they are thrilled to be collaborating with Manitoga on their first site-specific installation in the country. Manitoga is open by guided tour only, Friday through Monday, beginning on May 13, 2022. Advance tickets are required at The installation is possible with the support of Galleria Giustini / Stagetti, Rome. “Magazzino is proud to partner with Manitoga / The Russel Wright Design Center for the first time in welcoming the Italian design duo Formafantasma. It’s an honour to work closely with a neighbouring institution with whom we share such strong values centred on community, nature and architecture.

Formafantasma Manitoga 002
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

Marking our third collaboration with a local arts organization, we are excited to welcome Formafantasma to the Hudson Valley, where the designers will create subtle interventions within some of the most intimate yet communal spaces at Dragon Rock and enter into a unique dialogue with the work of Russel Wright, the architecture of the house and studio, and its surrounding landscape.” Vittorio Calabrese, Director of Magazzino “The launch of the new Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery last year (2021) within Dragon Rock at Manitoga opened up new programmatic possibilities, including the opportunity to invite designers along with visual and performing artists to engage in dialogue with Wright’s legacy at Manitoga.

Formafantasma Manitoga 008
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

Formafantasma and Russel Wright share a broad design reach, across medium and scale, from object to environment, with focused attention to form, materiality and method. Although separated by almost a century, the work of both addresses environmental concerns and asks if design can be a steward of nature and our future…Through partnership [with Magazzino], we look forward to an enriching and amplifying the vibrant arts and design community in the Hudson Valley.”


Formafantasma Manitoga 007
Image courtesy of Manitoga | photo: Michael Biondo

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