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Emilie Appercé on Nanda Vigo
12 July, 2023
Some of the photographs of the interiors designed by Nanda Vigo were familiar to me, but I didn’t know her so well.. Casa Gialla, Casa Blue or Casa Nera, and especially Lo Scarabeo Sotto La Foglia (The Beetle Under the Leaf) were the decors of many gangster and thriller films.. They have fascinated more than one director, no doubt because of the astral dimension of the interiors coming from the manipulation of light, –Nanda Vigo was a science-fiction fanatic, growing up with Flash Gordon and reading Japanese science-fiction novels–but also probably for the gesamkunstwerk aspect of her work, inspired by Gio Ponti and Fontana with whom she collaborated.
She seems to be really fascinating, and her work underestimated.
She studied at EPFL and later at Taliesin West, travelling to the USA mostly because she liked American music and literature. She studied with Frank Lloyd Wright, but was disillusioned by his military-like teaching he would rap female students over the knuckles with a ruler. and the lack of originality in his work. Her partner, the artist Piero Manzoni, asked her to give up her studio. There is also an interesting duality between her work as an individual and a bigger plural discourse within the artists collective Zero.
The book, written by herself in collaboration with Dominique Stella, offers a comprehensive overview of Nanda Vigo’s largely undervalued activity from the 1960s to 2005.