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25 Luglio 2019

Guide to urban art: Santa Rita and Mirafiori Nord

A journey through Turin’s urban art: from Tony Cragg’s famous installations to the murals and sculptures that enliven the city’s suburbs

Fabio Gusella (translation by Lorenzo Bijno)

murales_via Don Grioli

Murals made by the students of the art school Renato Cottini at the indoor market in via Don Grioli

Tourist guides forget too often how many works of art can be found in the outskirts of Turin. Therefore, we will give you some information below on how to find the murals, sculptures and installations that make our suburbs more alive than ever.
In this journey, we were accompanied by Marzia Bolle, a young art historian and co-author of L’arte nelle strade di Torino (The Art in the Streets of Turin, published in 2017 by Edizioni del Capricorno), an illustrated guide to discover modern and contemporary art in the city.

Our tour begins in largo Orbassano, in the heart of the Santa Rita area.
As Bolle explains, the installation in the centre of the square dates back to 2005, when it was created by Danish artist Per Kirkeby (1938-2018), and is entitled Opera per Torino. Bolle says: “It’s a double brick portal, whose structure conceals a secret: from the outside the lines appear right-angled, like the streets of Turin, but once you are inside, you discover that the layout is actually a trapezoid one, with a distorted perspective effect that deceives your eye by making the structure look longer than the real one”. Kirkeby himself said in an interview: “I wanted to create a piece of work that would adapt to the atmosphere of the city, to that strange and almost surreal feeling that you can experience in Turin”.

If you walk on the left side of corso IV Novembre, on the edge of the Parco Cavalieri di Vittorio Veneto, you will find the Monument to the Fallen of Nassiriya, which was created in 2006 by the sculptor and Sergeant Major Osvaldo Moi (Silius, 1961) to commemorate the 19 Italian soldiers who died in the 2003 attack in Iraq.

Proceeding along the corso, you will reach the pedestrian area in front of the Olympic Stadium (piazzale Grande Torino), where three bronze columns, each 10-12 metres high, stand out. Then there’s Punti di vista, an installation created by the English sculptor Tony Cragg (1949) on the occasion of the XX Olympic Winter Games held in Turin in 2006. “The 90° offset of the axes of the ellipses – says Bolle – allows the observer to look at each column from different points of view”.

On the way back to corso IV Novembre and continuing along corso Agnelli past the stadium, we take via Filadelfia on the right to find the Alessandro Antonelli School on the left (dedicated to the architect of the Mole Antonelliana). On the blank facades of the school building in via Lanfranco, you can admire the murals made in 2010 by the group of graffiti artists Boc crew and Mr.Wany. “The first work – says Bolle – represents a heart-shaped head from which the Mole Antonelliana comes out, whereas the second is entitled Un soffio… and represents an old painter who, while blowing, gives life to a magical atmosphere of joy and fun”.

We proceed along via Filadelfia, where we turn left into corso Siracusa and into via Boston. Through the Giardini Natale Re, you will find some graffiti made in 2015 by Deder, Wubik and Bans. Then we walk along via Boston to via Guido Reni: at number 188, on the facade of the Iren power plant, some graffiti made by the True Quality group appeared in 2011. If you proceed along via Guido Reni, you will reach the heart of the Mirafiori Nord area: piazza Omero, which leads to the nearby Giardino Pietro Nenni in corso Tazzoli. Walking along the park, we meet the large inhabitable sculpture Totipotent Architecture by the British Lucy Orta (1966) and Aiuola Transatlantico by the Piacenza-born Claudia Losi (1971).

Our journey ends in piazza Livio Bianco, which has been renovated following the Urban 2 Community Initiative Programme. At the crossroads with via De Canal, behind the anonymous sculpture Tempus fugit, there is a historic mural from the 1970s. “This work – explains Marzia Bolle – summarizes the history of the area by showing its relentless transformation from a countryside populated by farmsteads to a metropolis full of tall buildings”.

Finally, the pillars of the indoor market in via Don Giovanni Grioli serve as a backdrop for the murals created in 2016 by the students of the nearby art school Renato Cottini.

Saddle up, there is another Turin waiting for us!


In collaboration with Study in Torino


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