Twin Towers and Magenta

This dérive is the first in a series of links that trace a particular path through our own archives and elsewhere. It began with a single favourite image – page 68 from Natalini's Sketchbook 12 – in which Adolfo explores a key early project with Superstudio. 

Superstudio, Per un antiquariato definitivo, 1969, DM [?] IN SET – Drawing Matter

A 1969 magazine page sent from Adolfo Natalini. Publication unknown.

Superstudio, Magenta boutique – Drawing Matter

From Domus 473, 4 April 1969, this image shows Superstudio's early use of magenta for lighting, for a small boutique in Florence. The photo is by Superstudio member Cristian Toraldo di Francia, who was a fashion photographer and did much of the slick photography for the collective.

Superstudio, Nightclub, double page spread – Drawing Matter

Again from Domus 473, 4 April 1969, this image shows magenta used for the lighting of a Florence Night-club, Mach 2. Photograph: Cristian Toraldo di Francia.

Adolfo Natalini, Twin Towers – Drawing Matter

Adolfo Natalini (*1941), Sketchbook 12, page 68, 1969. Spiral bound Canson sketchbook, unbound, 340 × 275 mm.

Superstudio, Poltronova lamp – Drawing Matter

This magenta hanging light was for Design Centre [Poltronova] from 'Design d'inventione e design d'evasione' in Domus 475, June 1969. The design drawings to the right are of the 'Falling Star' floor light and the 'Narghile' table light. Could it be that rather than towers in the drawing from page 68, these two columns are, in fact, lamps?

Carlos Diniz, World Trade Center, 1963, ink overlay by Matthew Day Jackson – Drawing Matter

Natalini's drawing coincided with the construction of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan in 1968–69. This image of the Twin Towers seen from an ocean liner as it arrives in New York, was published in 1963, as part of the presentation booklet for the project prepared with Yamasaki by the illustrator Carlos Diniz. On 29th September of this year it formed part of the projected background to the Third Act of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, performed at Shatwell. Together with the Superstudio Manhattan collage and Ugo La Pietra’s Uovouomosfera, shown below, each of the images was masked with plexiglass, and – as you see them here – overlaid with coloured inks by the artist Matthew Day Jackson. Meanwhile, the evil Sorceress, whom we had recast as an architect, was singing: 'From the Ruins of others our pleasure we borrow, Eliza bleeds tonight, and Carthage flames tomorrow.'

Ugo La Pietra, Uovouomosfera with overlay by MDJ – Drawing Matter

Ugo La Pietra (*1938), Immersioni – Uomouovosfera with ink wash overlay by Matthew Day Jackson, 1969 – 1970. Print on wove paper, with ink wash overlay, 180 × 235 mm.

Superstudio, Il Monumento Continuo, 1969, DM 2937, Matthew Day jackson inks – Drawing Matter

Superstudio (1966–1978), Il Monumento Continuo, with overlay of inks by Matthew Day Jackson, 1969. Colour print with ink wash overlay, 695 × 985 mm.

Nobuo Sekine, Mono-ha, Progetto: Phase of Nothingness, DM 2165 – Drawing Matter

Nobuo Sekine (*1942), Progetto: Phase of Nothingness, 1971. Xerox copy, ink and pencil, 730 × 110 mm.


The Drawing Matter editors would welcome any responses from your experience, or your own discoveries, while you are here. To proceed on a dérive through Superstudio in the New Domestic Landscape; and With Superstudio in Yesterday's Tomorrow