Art, man and nature; fragility and instinct of protection. The artist presents the works “Frana e Fango” (“landslide and mud”) at Casa Zegna, creating a sort of wild garden: in Coda Zabetta’s work, nature is evoked through the use of an explosive chromatic charge and dense material that accumulates on the canvas.
The exhibition’s title is taken from E il giardino creò l’uomo (1912) by Jorn de Précy, a philosopher and passionate gardener who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries. In his short book, de Précy holds that to be gardeners and create real gardens we must listen to nature and the genius loci. We must never obstruct the forces at work in nature but work with them. De Précy shows how humankind has over the millennia modelled nature to create their habitat, building, rebuilding and manipulating the Earth and forgetting its delicate balances and needs.
In the crippling climate crisis of our own times, de Précy’s words have a disturbingly prophetic ring, for it now seems our life on this planet has become unsustainable. The forces of nature cannot be capped, which can be seen not only in global warming but in the terrible natural catastrophes that remind humans of both their fragility and that of the ecosystems they should be protecting and safeguarding instead of exploiting without regard for the consequences.
Like de Précy, the entrepreneur Ermenegildo Zegna foresaw these crises at the beginning of the 20th century, and Oasi Zegna, now more precious than ever, bears eloquent witness.
In his book, de Précy argues that in order to be a gardener and create a true garden, man must listen to nature and the genius loci. Man must never obstruct the forces at work in nature, but work with them.