A brief but intense pictorial activity emerges in Enzo Frateili’s early childhood and youth experience. Frateili’s paintings offer a reinterpretation of the well-known architect and scholar, who never let go into the academic sphere his direct involvement with artistic practice. This rereading allows grasping the complexity of his thinking, always grateful to the implications of the figurative culture in the context of architectural design. His pictorial experience, interpreted as contemplation and study of reality, is prefigured as the training phase that presides over the performance of architectural design, in terms of active intervention on reality. This contributes to confirming the idea of a multifaceted mind, in line with the osmosis climate between the disciplines that characterize some figures of Italian culture of the twentieth century.
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The theme of the frame has been dealt with extensively (Simmel, Ortega y Gasset, Popper, Marin) both in the concept of definition of a rational and necessary visual field, and in the limitation of a too characterized and preset reality. The round or square frame reflects the Saints’ halo as glowing symbols, in comparison with the more defined criteria of frame-framework-structure, which serves for holding a table or a canvas, as the only possible representation. However, from this field of definition, or built-up part of reality, we go back now to a frame in total expansion which may ignore both horizontality and verticality. This new frame gives the impression to catch everything but may also let everything pass, like trying to scoop up water with a sieve. The present essay starts from the consecration of the halo and leads to the construction of the electronic screen and the tablet: the bright and dark frame which captures the visual world but soon makes it disappear.
Since the period of training in Zurich thirties, concrete pictorial research and “applied” research to advertising, publishing and typography are closely linked in the method of work of Max Huber, in line with the concept of unity of the arts derived from the Bauhaus. These overshoots give to its graphics an elegance and a communicative strength always far from trite or easy solutions, based on an idea of design culture to the service of man and society.