05 November, 2005
Soft-ground etchings (1995). A collaboration between
Ian Friend and Melbourne printmaker John Loane,
the works record every detail of the printing process.
.... It is no surprise, then, that he has been preoccupied by the architecture of Terragni and has responded to it in a series of works displayed in his exhibition, Ian Friend: Terragni, at the Queensland University of Technology Art Museum.
The exhibition collates works Friend produced in the mid-1990s, in response primarily to Giuseppe Terragni and Pietro Lingeri’s unrealized Danteum in Rome (1938). Friend became acquainted with this through Thomas L. Schumacher’s 1993 book, The Danteum: Architecture, Poetics, and Politics under Italian Fascism, and his 1991 book, Surface & Symbol: Giuseppe Terragni and the Architecture of Italian Rationalism. The Danteum was to be a centre and museum to celebrate the writings of the thirteenth-century poet Dante Alighieri, a primary source of Mussolini’s political aspirations for Italy.
The prints and related drawings on display at the QUT Art Museum are equally “extraordinarily beautiful”. They include two Indian ink, gouache, watercolour and crayon on paper Tondo: Terragni works; five soft-ground etchings titled Terragni and twenty-five working proofs; photographs of the Futures Technology Centre in North Hobart – a public art project commissioned by the Tasmanian Government, which Friend collaborated on with artists Kevin Todd and Sara Lindsay and architect Paul Lan; the constructivist-style 1800 x 1600 mm lino print and crayon Report from the Besieged City no. 1; and the Indian ink, gouache and pencil Lictor’s Tower no. 1 and Lictor’s Tower no. 2.