Nicola and Giovanni Pisano
The origins of modern sculpture

Curator: Vittorio Sgarbi
Director: Alberto Bartalini
Chiesa di San Gottardo in Corte – via Francesco Pecorari, Milano
June 10th – October 15th 2015

Coming from Pisa Baptistery and currently housed in the museum of the Opera del Duomo, the nine sculptures of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano are remarkable testimony of the in­depth renewal that spread around Europe in the XIII century: landmarks of radical originality, stating the leading and central role of Italian culture within the development of figurative civilization at that time.
Their original and powerful style is totally unexpected compared with the achievements of sculpture up to that time: art and classical norm are absorbed and transfigured in these sculptures thanks to a major creative genius, through Nicola’s work, then enlivened with outstanding and powerful vitality by Giovanni.
Under the direction of Alberto Bartalini and Vittorio Sgarbi as curator the installation in the church of San Gottardo in Corte, recently renovated, is meant to help capturing the amazing modernity of these artworks.
The exhibition has been realized also thanks to the design and technological contribution of Robot City, a company specializing in production of works of art via an innovative robotic technology. Robot City has been able to create a copy of Madonna col Bambino artwork, with the intent of showing the everlasting continuity between tradition and innovation underlying Expo2015 events. The nine majestic sculptures are located inside a magnificent theatrical sequence – respectfully of the host site as always under Alberto Bartalini’s direction – where skillful lighting design and harmonious spatial distribution enhance the prominent aspects of the two artistic languages.
While establishing a rich dialogue with the church architecture – similarly to their original positioning – the sculptures dare to free themselves from mere architectural context and become independent successful works of art. The Madonna col bambino and the other figures establish distinctive relations with the columns, the pilasters and the niches of the church surrendering a breathtaking effect.
A full­size Carrara marble copy of the Madonna col bambino will be placed at the external access, thus to enhance the cultural and emotional value of the exhibition. The authentic resembling Carrara marble copy statue has been created by Robot City company throughout innovative scan techniques, digital modelling and anthropomorphic numerical control machinery.
That is a persuasive example of history continuity and the fil rouge that bonds past and modernity: a path that naturally complements itself with the sculpture "Cabeza de Hombre Soplador Grande” by major contemporary Mexican artist Javier Martin, placed in Museum of the Duomo. During the event “Salone del Mobile 2014” Robot City and Italian Art Factory present Solid Sense, a project meant to convey the creative energies of 4 designers able to interpret marble, stating its brute and archetypical natural identity as well as its sensorial potential to tell uncommon and precious stories.