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First Solo U.S. Exhibition for Italian Designer Antonio Pio at Industry Gallery
Installation view. © Antonio Pio Saracino, courtesy Industry Gallery.

WASHINGTON, DC.- Industry Gallery opened Nature / Data, the first solo U.S. exhibition for New York‐based Italian designer and architect Antonio Pio Saracino. The exhibition, which runs through October 30, 2010, premieres two new designs, feature work created mostly during the past year and introduce two large‐scale models of triumphal arches representing Italian emigration to North and South America. The works in the exhibition are executed in plywood, metal, carbon fiber and synthetics and abstract from natural forms such as molecules, leaves, blossoms, and crystals.

Nature / Data features eleven different chair designs, including two newly created for the exhibition: Riccio, a chair with a smooth interior and spiky exterior; and Molecular Bench, a baroque, steel‐framed work covered with molecule‐shaped recycled wool. The other nine designs, most created within the past year, are exhibited along with two large‐scale models for triumphal arches inspired by two centuries of Italian emigration to North and South America. The models were constructed from layers of hard foam, each layer a graphic representation (referencing bar charts) of emigration data from 1810‐2010. In Spring 2011, a planned stainless steel version, commissioned by the Italian Cultural Institute, will be erected in front of the Museum Carraffa in Cordoba, Argentina.

Saracino's designs stem from his lifelong fascination with nature and natural systems. As a child in Puglia (in southern Italy), he collected plants, rocks, fossils and insects. "I have always been fascinated by the mystery of nature, and the beauty and complexity of the natural world," said Saracino. "However, I do not seek to replicate nature. I look to replicate the feeling that nature creates within me." Living in Rome from the age of 19, "affected my vision and made me realize the power of design in making and defining a civilization. Design is important in the evolution of a culture and its identification process, by which I mean its sense of pride and belonging."

Speaking about the broader concept of design, Saracino said, "In Italy people truly value design. We believe that beauty will save the world. Beauty is not a shallow concept, but a broader idea of balance that creates a sense of continuity between our place in the world and what we design and live with everyday (objects, fashion, houses) ... Design is an act of love for other people. Every designer hopes and believes that his or her work will make the world a better place in which to live."

Antonio Pio Saracino is an Italian‐born architect and designer currently working and living in New York. For more than a decade Saracino's designs and artwork have been shown in individual and group exhibitions in Rome, Brussels, London, Moscow, Cordoba, Sydney and New York. Nature / Data at Industry Gallery in Washington, D.C. is his first solo U.S. exhibition.

In 2003, Saracino graduated cum laude with a master's degree in architecture from "La Sapienza" the University of Rome. Since 2004, he has worked in tandem with New York-based architect Steve Blatz on interior design, conceptual projects and design competitions, such as the Seed House, a pod‐shaped residence that received an American Architecture Award in 2007 from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.

Saracino has received numerous international art, design and architecture awards and is a four‐time winner of the Future Furniture Design Competition sponsored by Interior Design magazine. His projects have received extensive coverage from design and art media in Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Australia, Japan and the U.S. His 2007 design work at the Tibi boutique in New York's Soho was featured in Interior Design's "Best of the Year" issue and the "Global Shop" section of Wallpaper*. He was also named one of ARTnews magazine's 25 trendsetters.

Saracino was selected as the winner of the Agorafolly art competition at the Europalia Europa Art Festival 2007/2008 in Brussels, Belgium, designing a work to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Union. His large‐scale installation created on behalf of the nation of Italy was mounted in front of the La Gare Centrale train station. This past summer he unveiled the design for the 2010 eni Formula One and Moto GP World Championship trophy.

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