In 1934 Giuseppe Terragni, the centenary of whose birth is marked by the present exhibition, designed a monument in the mountain region of Asiago to commemorate Roberto Sarfatti, the first-born son of the famous Margherita Sarfatti, who lost his life on the battlefront in 1918.
The exhibition situates this and Terragni’s other monuments within the larger context of Margherita Sarfatti's role as protagonist of 1920's and early 1930's debates on art and architecture.
Terragni’s autograph drawings testify to his passionate pursuit of a modern monumentalism: a monumentality "without style" that harkens back to an archaic vocabulary of funerary monoliths, cubes, stairs, crosses, and devises a new sort of rhetoric of commemoration, but that enfolds the whole of his architectural production including the «Novocomum» and the «case del fascio» of Como and Lissone.
The first room is devoted to Margherita Sarfatti, founder of the «Novecento» movement and a leading champion of the modern movement in architecture, with special attention to her ties to Terragni.
In the second room, the complex of his anti-monumental monuments, built and unbuilt, is on display: from the 1925/26 Monument to the Fallen in Como to his 1932 Reclamation Monument to the Danteum.
The third and fourth rooms explore "immaterial" and "material" aspects of Terragni's new monumentality: the archetypal forms of the Sarfatti monument – of which the entire design process is documented – and other monuments are examined with respect to a larger constellation of modern monuments by architects from Loos to Gropius, from Fisker to Mies, from BBPR to Figni and Pollini, from Rossi to Scarpa.
The final room provides visitors with a hands-on experience of the materials that Terragni chose for each of his major projects.