Jul 5, 2013 – Sep 21, 2013
Gianni Pettena: Forgiven by Nature is an immersive survey of Gianni Pettena’s artistic practice and architectural propositions. The span of work presented looks back at his early roots in the Italian Radical Architecture Movement in the late Sixties and early Seventies up to the artist’s current productions from the past year.
The Radical Architecture Movement ushered in a new wave of imagining the role of the architect and the possibilities of the built environment. Responding to the ever-systematizing structures of Modernist Architecture, the Radical Architecture Movement denoted a critique that included utopian and often dystopian possibilities. From the beginning, Gianni Pettena’s practice aimed to better understand how architecture ultimately succumbs to the powers of nature, and he developed strategies that embraced such forces. In 1972, Pettena was invited by Bob Bliss to teach at the University of Utah. While in Salt Lake City, Pettena encountered a landscape that represented the application of philosophies he was developing, which is evident in his most iconic work produced—The Salt Lake Trilogy (1972)—a series that includes Clay House, Tumbleweeds Catcher and Siege (A Red Line).
Gianni Pettena: Forgiven by Nature looks at how the artist has established his particular style of engaging with the landscape through tensions between man and nature. Early film, documentation, spatial interventions, photographs, drawings, and archival materials make up the presentation at UMOCA. Pettena has also produced several on-site installations including Human Wall and Human Space, as well as a new version of The Absence of Bodies (Laundry) (1969/2013). In the context of the Utah Biennial, his iconic Tumbleweeds Catcher sits as the centerpiece of the exhibition.