The XXII Triennale di Milano looks at Havana’s National Art Schools


Cuban Art News explores the XXII Triennale di Milano, which, organized around the theme “Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival,” takes a look at Havana’s National Art Schools among other architectural subjects, considering the buildings and their renovation “through the lens of ‘restorative design.’” Here are excerpts; read the full review at Cuban Art News.

Marking the 500th anniversary of Havana—and renewed international interest in the National Art Schools of Havana—Cuba has presented its first pavilion since 1968 in the triennial of architecture and design in Milan, Italy.

The XXII Triennale di Milano opened March 1. With the theme “Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival,” it explores the concept of restorative design and its applications worldwide. “The exhibition gathers examples new and old, from different fields, and with different applications, to establish a contemporary sphere of research and actions,” said the Triennale’s curator, Paola Antonelli, senior design curator and director of research and development at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Cuba’s presentation, titled “Art and Revolution – The National Art Schools, Havana: Vittorio Garatti, Roberto Gottardi, Ricardo Porro,” focuses on the innovative architecture and continued growth of the National Art Schools, now the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA).

Commissioned by Norma Rodríguez Derivet of the Consejo Nacional Artes Plásticas (CNAP), the Cuban pavilion was curated by Jorge Fernández Torres, director of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana. Collaborating with a broad working group, Fernández Torres incorporated content created by students and professors at ISA: images and videos offering a glimpse of the day-to-day experience of the buildings and their ongoing adaptation and evolution.

“It would be impossible to refer to the history of modern and contemporary architecture of the planet without mentioning the National Art Schools,” Fernández Torres wrote. “In them, form does not yield to function, nor does function yield to form. Because the space is unlimited, it opens up. It changes, like a living structure that reconfigures itself with organic elements.”

Italian architects Roberto Gottardi (1927–2017) and Vittorio Garatti (b. 1927) worked with Cuban architect Ricardo Porro (1925–2014) in designing the National Art Schools. [. . .]

[Photo above by Lorenzo Carmellini, “School of Ballet, designed by Vittorio Garatti.]

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