Few groups influenced the Italian design and architecture scene of the 20th century – and beyond – more than Superstudio. Well known for its radical, provocative and experimental approach, the collective had an extremely varied output, ranging from installations to objects, photographs and publications, leaving their mark on contemporary architecture worldwide.
Celebrating its landmark 50th anniversary this year, Superstudio was set up in Rome in 1966 by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia. They were later joined by Gian Piero Frassinelli, the brothers Roberto and Alessandro Magris and Alessandro Poli.
Marking the occasion, the MAXXI museum in Rome worked with Natalini, Toraldo di Francia and Frassinelli themselves, who collaborated with curator Gabriele Mastrigli, to put together a major retrospective exhibition – entitled 'Superstudio 50' – that looks at the group's lifetime oeuvre.
The displays – sourced from the Superstudio archives – span the entire career and development of the group's work and include drawings, photomontages and installations from The Continuous Monument series (1969), the Architectural Histograms (1969-70) and The Twelve Ideal Cities (1971) project. Pieces on show also include The Wife of Lot, presented at the Venice Biennale in 1978 and the entrance to the Superarchitettura exhibition from 1966.
The exhibition is completed by the display of work by a number of artists who reference Superstudio in her work, such as Hironaka & Suib, Rene Daalder and photographer Stefano Graziani.
A book, entitled Superstudio. Opere 1966-1978, published by Quodlibet, will be available at the museum, to accompany the exhibition, chronicling the group's full body of work.