The new exhibition on Alessandro Mendini hits Triennale in Milan


Triennale Milano and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain come together in a celebration of innovation and creativity with a dual homage to Alessandro Mendini, an architect, designer, artist, and visionary whose impact resonates through the shifting tides of 20th and 21st-century thought and culture.

From April 13th to October 13th, 2024, the striking venue of Cubo will be transformed into a haven for artistic exploration as it hosts the retrospective “I Am a Dragon: The Authentic Tale of Alessandro Mendini”. This captivating journey through Mendini’s life and work, realized in collaboration with the Archivio Alessandro Mendini and curated by Fulvio Irace, is complemented by the visionary exhibition design of Pierre Charpin. Simultaneously, from April 16th to October 13th, 2024, the captivating installation by Philippe Starck will captivate audiences in the Impluvium.

Alessandro Mendini Triennale

These two groundbreaking projects, tailor-made for the Palazzo dell’Arte, are a testament to the profound connection shared between Triennale and Fondation Cartier with Mendini. From Mendini’s iconic “Whispering Architecture” installation (1979) during the 16th International Exhibition to his thought-provoking “Fragilisme” exhibition (2002) at Fondation Cartier, each endeavor has contributed to the evolution of his theoretical framework. Collaborations such as these underscore Mendini’s enduring influence across diverse artistic disciplines.

In collaboration with Elisa and Fulvia Mendini – Archivio Alessandro Mendini, the retrospective is meticulously curated by Fulvio Irace, with Pierre Charpin infusing his unique vision into the exhibition design. Over 400 works of varying formats, materials, and themes will be showcased in Triennale’s Cubo space, drawn from esteemed public and private collections, including the Archivio Alessandro Mendini, Fondation Cartier, Triennale, Museo Abet Laminati, Groninger Museum, Vitra Design Museum, Alessi, and Bisazza.

The exhibition title, “I Am a Dragon,” draws inspiration from one of Alessandro Mendini’s iconic self-portraits, serving as a poignant reminder of his intricate role within the international design, architecture, and art spheres. Through this immersive experience, audiences will gain insight into Mendini’s unique worldview, his empathy towards everyday objects, and the transformative power of poetry in revealing the enchantment of the mundane.

Alessandro Mendini Triennale

Under the creative direction of Pierre Charpin, the exhibition seeks to encapsulate the essence of Mendini’s “dragon” – a metaphorical representation of the thematic nuclei that define the “Mendini method”. As visitors traverse the exhibition space, they will embark on a journey through Mendini’s storied career, with each thematic nucleus offering a deeper understanding of his multifaceted contributions to the world of art and design.

The exhibition journey is structured around six thematic nuclei: “Identikit,” showcasing Mendini’s diverse series of self-portraits; “Gulliver’s Syndrome,” exploring the manipulation of scale in Mendini’s work; “Architectures,” highlighting his architectural achievements; “Fragilisms,” delving into Mendini’s philosophical musings on fragility; “Radical Melancholy,” a retrospective glance at Mendini’s contributions to radical design theory; and “Rooms,” immersive environments curated to evoke a tapestry of memories, dreams, and nightmares envisioned by Mendini.

Alessandro Mendini Triennale