After the first major Italian museum retrospective presented at the GAMeC in Bergamo in 2021, following the parallel acquisition by the Centre Pompidou in Paris of a significant nucleus of the artist’s works, and after having returned to prominence in 2022 on the occasion of the 59. International Art Exhibition in Venice, the intellectual legacy of Regina Cassolo Bracchi is represented in the association named after her, the “Regina Cassolo Bracchi Archive”.
Founded on the initiative of Gaetano and Zoe Fermani, with the scientific support of Paolo Campiglio, Chiara Gatti and Lorenzo Giusti, the “Archivio Regina” is a cultural association established with the aim of studying, cataloguing and promoting the art of Regina Cassolo Bracchi both in Italy and abroad, taking care of the protection of her name, her artistic production and the documentation related to it, through the certification and archiving of her general work, as well as the realisation of a catalogue raisonné.
Regina Cassolo Bracchi was the first sculptor of the Italian historical avant-garde. She was a futurist in her formative years and a radical abstractionist in her maturity. She was the first woman in 20th century Italy to use experimental materials such as tin, aluminium, iron wire, tin and sandpaper. And also the first artist in Italy to hang floating geometries made of plastic fragments, Plexiglass, perspex or rhodoid in the air. Innovative in manner and intuition, she maintained that the project and the idea were superior, in their larval originality, to the finished work. ‘I choose themes of such simplicity, constructions so elementary that they could be reproduced by anyone based on my exact description’.
Yet history had forgotten her. Like many women in art at the turn of the century, Regina had remained on the margins of the manuals. A female case in the shadow of the masters, even though her name appeared at the foot of Futurist manifestos (she signed the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Aeroplastics in 1934) and even though she was noticed by André Breton and Léonce Rosenberg who, after a meeting in Paris in 1937, offered her a contract with his gallery, which she renounced in order to return to Italy.
Critics have often distractedly omitted her presence from the chronicles, despite the fact that Regina played a leading role as the only woman in the Italian MAC, the Movimento Arte Concreta (founded in 1948), always active in contacts with the leadership of the French group ‘Espace’ (founded in 1951). Her theoretical mind animated, in fact, the cultural liveliness of the post-World War II period, involved in the artistic debate by her friend Bruno Munari who knew her at the time of the Futurist adventure and then wanted her at his side in the world of Concrete Art.
Committed to the registry of the complete corpus of Regina Cassolo Bracchi’s works, including sculptures, drawings, maquettes and notebooks, the Archivio Regina is launching an appeal to census specimens that are not known or not catalogued to date, in order to set up a database offered for consultation to scholars and students, with a view to increasing and deepening knowledge and dissemination of the artist’s research.
The Archivio Regina consists of the artist’s bequest to Gaetano and Zoe Fermani, members of the scientific committee alongside Paolo Campiglio, lecturer in Contemporary Art History at the University of Pavia, Lorenzo Giusti, director of the GAMeC in Bergamo, and Chiara Gatti, director of the MAN in Nuoro.
Archivio ReginaWeb site
March 27, 2023