Pelle Cruda. Ilaria Cuccagna



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The first exhibition of 2022 at the Museum, features artworks by the artist Ilaria Cuccagna (*1981, Cesena). The exhibition begins with a homage to an archaeological discovery by Aldo Crivelli in 1946 of an ancient bronze foundry storeroom in Arbedo (Ticino) dating back to the Iron Age. Connecting and creating an archaeological dialogue; a common action and a reflection through the materials, such as bronze, with Ilaria Cuccagna’s works.

For Aldo Crivelli, archaeological research was what the practice of sculpture is to Ilaria Cuccagna. But this does not do justice to the dynamics that have led to the realisation of the exhibition Pelle Cruda.
Starting from the mid 1930s, through Emilio Balli, Aldo Crivelli came into contact with archaeology. A passion was born and from then onwards grew and was fuelled, developing into an unconditional love of archaeology. The most fascinating aspect of Aldo Crivelli’s work specifically concerns the methodological approach he adopted and perfected over years of experience; starting from his tireless presence in the field at archaeological digs, topographical measurements and photographic documentation right up to the reproduction and cataloguing of the remains hand-drawn on graph paper or on transparent sheets, as well as his studies and the editing of the resulting scientific publications. For Crivelli, dealing personally with each single stage in the research was in all probability an attempt to seize, grasp and gain a deep understanding of the sense of the discovery - a true process of garnering knowledge.

By contrast, in Ilaria Cuccagna’s artistic output, it seems possible to infer a special inclination and interest for ancient sculpture or architecture, but also, though less explicitly, archaeology. In fact, in certain of her works sculptural forms quite literally emerge, which are recognisable as faces, figures or architectonic surfaces in relief. As regards her proximity to the world of archaeology (including the appearance of fragments of bone in her works) the discussion has to shift to a different plane tout court: the creative process.

The artistic exploration that will lead to the realisation of each individual sculpture passes through various key moments, all equally important for the creation and production of the work itself. Ilaria Cuccagna often starts out from a distant perspective, from the exploration of specific geographical areas to her research in materials, the knowledge of their intrinsic properties, right up to an understanding of the external agents that can modify their characteristics over time. Basically, the “remains” are not to be understood in terms of a determination to reappropriate classical forms or aesthetic canons, but become part of a broader physical and intellectual procedure. Every element participates in and contributes to the formation of a new narration that is constantly changing, narration situated in an atemporal space that is perpetually shifting.

In this exhibition the Museum sketches out a possible new path to follow, a new journey in which exchange, dialogue, comparisons based on fragments of experience deriving from the life and work of Aldo Crivelli interweave with the experience of contemporary artists, inevitably generating unprecedented and valid interpretations.

On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue has been published. It contains textes of Moira Morinini Pé del Servizio Archeologico Cantonale, Annika Pettini and Diego Stephani.


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