Trame Exhibition

Copper Shapes in Contemporary Art, Design, Technology and Architecture

Copper, interpreted in all its multiple forms and applications, is the main theme of Copper Crossings, Copper Shapes in Contemporary Art, Design, Technology and Architecture presented at Triennale di Milano from September 16th to November 9th, 2014. Copper Crossing is the first exhibition looking at copper from a different point of view thanks to an interdisciplinary approach with more than 250 pieces representative of sectors of the exhibition. Copper Crossing is a journey through works of art, design and architecture, applications in science and technology together with photos and videos where copper is the leit motiv. Different names find in this material a common ground to work according to their personal experiences exploiting in the most innovative ways the formal, structural and plastic qualities of copper.
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General Project
Elena Tettamanti

Triennale di Milano
Triennale Design Museum
Eight Art Project
Istituto Italiano del Rame

Curated by
Antonella Soldaini  Elena Tettamanti

Exhibition and Graphic Design
Migliore+Servetto Architects

Scientific Committee
Giampiero Bosoni, Maurizio Decina, Fiorenzo Galli, Ico Migliore, Vicente Todolí

Contemporary art

The section devoted to contemporary art comprises 26 works by artists active between the 1960s and the present day, allowing visitors to appreciate the evolution in the use of copper from Arte Povera to Minimal Art and the tendencies of recent years.

Alongside the creations of some historic figures like Lucio Fontana and Fausto Melotti, we have selected works by Carl Andre, Marco Bagnoli, Joseph Beuys, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Paolo Icaro, Anselm Kiefer, Eliseo Mattiacci, Fernando Melani, Marisa Merz, Hidetoshi Nagasawa, Remo Salvadori, Gilberto Zorio and Meg Webster, as well as a number of artists belonging to a younger generation: Nina Canell, Laurent Grasso, Roni Horn, Alicja Kwade, Cristina Iglesias, Damián Ortega, Andrea Sala, Tatiana Trouvé and Danh Vo.



Copper possesses innumerable aesthetic and technical qualities that have long made it an essential material for design and innovation.

Just as with art, the part of the exhibition devoted to design starts from the 1960s. The only exceptions are a few objects dating from the 1940s and 1950s that we decided to include because they are of particular interest and show originality in their use of copper.


There are innumerable applications of copper in technology. In this case too the theme has been tackled by splitting it up into several areas, ranging from the history and properties of copper to the things that are made out of the mineral and from scrap; from the relationship of copper with energy to its use in transport, telecommunications and electronics, in farming and the food industry, in medicine and in construction.

Copper is a fundamental component of the telecommunications network, which relies on the copper duplex cable. It is also a component of superconductors, of shape-memory alloys and of microprocessors for the computer. It is an essential material in information processing and communications.



Copper is utilized in architecture for its capacity to blend into its surroundings, becoming an integral part of them. A number of architects have realized its potential and have decided to include copper in some of their most important projects.

Considering the vast extent of the theme, we have included only a few of the most emblematic expressions in this section: some models as well as photographs and drawings by architects


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