TALKS

Barnaba Fornasetti

Artist, creative, designer

Fornasetti, the artist-alchemist and his whimsical atelier


Son of Piero Fornasetti, one of the most eclectic and creative minds of the 20th century, Barnaba Fornasetti, born in Milan in 1950, at the early age of 4 years old started his career with his father, by giving him a daisy on a hydrangea leaf that immediately became the decoration theme for a Fornasetti tray.

After his studies at Accademia delle Belle Arti, he collaborates with the textile designer Ken Scott and with Mondadori. In 1974 he moves to Tuscany, where he starts renovating farmhouses until 1982, when he returns to Milan to work full-time alongside his father.

In 1988, after Piero’s death, Barnaba takes over the family business; maintaining the tradition and licencing some products as for example: ceramic tiles, fabrics, ties, lamps, rugs, parquet and wallpapers

Often celebrated in exhibitions and writings, many countries pay tribute to Fornasetti for his whimsical creativity and his sofisticated vision of design.

An important milestone of the history of Fornasetti is the monograph in two volumes: “Fornasetti: l’artista alchimista e la bottega fatastica”, published by Electa in 2009. This book has also been translated and published in English by Rizzoli New York in 2010 with the title  “Fornasetti the complete Universe” that will be revised in 2016.

In 2013 Triennale Design Museum dedicates to Fornasetti the exhibition curated by Barnaba : “Piero Fornasetti. Cento anni di follia pratica” that celebrates the centenary of Piero Fornasetti’s birth. The same exhibition travels to Paris at Musée des Arts Décoratifs  in 2015 with the title “Piero Fornasetti: la folie pratique”. The next landmark of this itinerant exhibition is at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, from November 2016 to March 2017.

The latest artistic creation from Barnaba Fornasetti: "Il dissoluto punitive ossia il Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte

10, 12 and 13 January 2017
Teatro della Pergola, Florence

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Prague, 29th October 1787: it is a watershed in the history of music and culture for both the theatre and the entire city. The world premiere of “Don Giovanni” – a revolutionary opera that audiences had ever before heard the likes of. Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the age of 31 to a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, the opera is regarded as one of the Austrian composer’s most monumental works. It marks the birth of a modern myth: that of the legendary Don Juan. A myth that has since that day flourished as much as it excites, disturbs, frightens and moves the whole world.

Milan, December 2016: two hundred and twenty-nine after that first performance, the sounds of the original instruments for which Mozart composed his masterpiece can now be heard for the first time – thrilling audiences all over again. Under the guidance of Fornasetti, a team of multi-talented, multi-faceted artists fulfils the real and inestimable potential of the original score, arousing a whole new respect for it.  

As staged by this unique group, the opera escapes any hint of the humdrum and embodies a dream that brings together a team of artists bound by a transcreative pact. Personalities breathe life into a project where the vision of each individual member contributes towards building a greater whole. Madness meets imagination in a shared effort not to shock but rather to simply state the facts.