This is true of the work by Alessandro Agudio (1982): La casalinga di Voghera, named after the stereotypical housewife for whom Italian TV advertising is ideally constructed, serves as an emblem of the provincialism Agudio’s work explores through abstract forms that, in turn, are stereotypes of how “modern” furniture manufactured in Brianza, just north of Milan, is designed.
In Aggressivity and Thinking, Alessandro Carano (1984) uses the same plastic material used to cover the floors of Milan subway’s Line 1 (for which Franco Albini and Bob Noorda designed the interior in 1963). Originally made by Pirelli and widely adopted for public spaces, albeit manufactured by other companies the material is still on the market today.
Anna Franceschini (1979) presents her new work Mi Amo, Milano, as an emblem of Milan’s narcissistic and hedonistic tendencies associated with cocaine consumption and a certain way of being that has, in effect, become a popular “mask”.
For Nocturne 2021, Dario Guccio (1988) was inspired by gaming imagery, in particular the Dark Souls videogame which focuses on the notion of NPCs, non-player characters over whom the gamer has no control.
Francesco Joao (1987) deconstructs a painting frame Joao was bequeathed after the death of Brazilian artist Antonio Dias, who moved to Milan in 1968 and lived there until 2018.
Lorenza Longhi (1991) Milan is referenced in two neon light pieces on display. Previously exhibited in a series, like much of the artist’s work, they focus on the manual and artisanal reproduction of industrial products that are, consequently, imperfect and more human.
Beatrice Marchi (1986) is represented by her animation piece Loredana across the Landscape, set on a typical old-fashioned streetcar of the kind still running in Milan and San Francisco.
Emanuele Marcuccio (1987) exhibits Cometa Nera, a look at the dark side of Xmas festivities, revisiting and redefining the typical abstract form of this Christmas decoration in black.
In his work Senza titolo, Daniele Milvio (1988) presents part of a Touring Club Italia map of the area north of Frosinone, where Gino Bonichi used to vacation. This part of Italy is known as “nanny land” because so many local women worked as nannies; it is also famous for local models, whom many artists painted in Bonichi’s time.
This work by Margherita Raso (1991) was created in 2015 in New York, where the artist was staying at the time. The reference to Milan lies in the material, cast iron, from which it is made. Ghisa, the Italian word for cast iron, is a slang term for the local traffic police popular in the period when Italian streets were thronged by protests and demonstrations.
The two works in the exhibition by Andrea Romano (1984) are in famous Varese paper, traditionally used by denizens of Milan to line chests of drawers. The works bear two inscriptions: “Empathy”, and “Schadenfreude” (a German term for joy at others’ misfortune).
Giangiacomo Rossetti (1989) The work Le prime ore del mattino is a preparatory sketch for the painting entitled I teppisti di Milano, which Rossetti presented at his most recent Federico Vavassori gallery exhibition. The painting depicts a location near the walls of Castello Sforzesco.
Greek belts by Davide Stucchi (1988), displayed in February 2020 at the CfAlive space, refers to the luxury industry for which Milan is well-known, represented here through the ephemeral: the piece is, in fact, a simple sheet of bubble wrap, itself wrapped up in acetate film.
As they project themselves into the international art world, all these works and the artists who made them express a highly specific stylistic approach and way of making art, maintaining the temperature and tone typical of people for whom Milan is home or an observation post on modern living.