Ugo La Pietra

Architect (1938)

Ugo La Pietra, an artiste, architect and designer, was a major figure on the radical scene of the 1960s and 1970s. From the early 1960s he was interested in the experiments of the Viennese architects (Hollein, Pichler…) and worked to break down the separations between forms and disciplines through drawing, painting and architecture by exploring the theme of the “synesthesia of the arts.” In 1967, Ugo La Pietra became more radical in his critic of functionalism, which, according to him, asphyxiated the individual. He developed an “unbalancing system,” which, through the use of objects, audiovisual environments and immersions, aimed to broaden the field of human perception and to make the viewer an active participant. In the 1970s, urban zones became the focus of his attention. Equipped with “deciphering tools,” he surveyed the city down to its tiniest interstices in a quest for “degrees of liberty.” The artist methodically reappropriates and reinterprets urban space utilizing photography, film, drawing and photomontage. For him, we weave the city through our behaviors and our choices: “Inhabiting the city means being at home everywhere.”

Ugo La Pietra (1938 Bussi sul Tirino) lives and works in Milan. Since the 1960s, he has expanded his range of activities to include the roles of architect, artist, professor, curator, director and editor in chief of magazines (In; Inpiù). A founding member of Global Tools (1973), he organized the first exhibitions of radical design in 1974, in Milan, Belgrade and Graz (Gli abiti dell’imperatore), and has participated in many other exhibitions (Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA, 1972; Venice Biennale, 1970 and 1978; Milan Triennale, 1972).He won the Golden Compass award in 1979. The exhibition at the FRAC Centre in 2009, Abitare la città, was the first retrospective of his work in France.

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