The Calderara House is located in the center of Vacciago, on Bardelli Street, and is an exquisite example of Renaissance bourgeois architecture originating from the subalpine belt; it has an excellent triple open gallery on granite columns that follow one after the other in five arcades.
The painter Calderara (1903-1978) turned the palace into a kind of double-functioning house-studio and was tasked with conserving and keeping the 327-piece collection of contemporary paintings and sculptures in their original conditions. 56 works of art were created by Calderara himself, 271 were created by 133 artists from all over the world, connected to Calderara through friendship, esteem, or research affinity.
The works of art are presented in an alternating pattern in order to stimulate the visitor and thus illustrate the educational and formative function of art. The artists on display include Jesus Raphael Soto, Josef Albers, Vasarely, Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Osvaldo Licini, and Piero Manzoni. After climbing the narrow staircase at palace’s entrance, you will reach a beautiful internal courtyard within the exhibition area. This so-called Green Space is livened up by various contemporary sculptures. On the right, in a building opposite the villa, you can see the beginning of the expository trail. The first room holds the essentiality of the collection: works created by the founder alongside those of other artists, related primarily by research and aesthetic convictions, most of which were created between the fifties and the seventies. You can admire two of the founder’s monochrome tables, tied together in both space and spirit with an homage to a painting of Josef Albers’, who was one of the great master artisans of the twentieth century. Further, the second room on the ground floor of the large villa hosts kinetic artwork by the Gruppo Zero (Zero Group), a series of Jesus Raphael Soto’s work with great visual impact.
Climbing up to the first floor, you can follow the exposition along the walls of the staircase until you reach a series of three rooms which are completely dedicated to the Calderara’s artwork. There are figurative canvases in the first room, characterized by a delicate magic realism (the family, the window, and the book); next, you can walk into the section where the light floods the room to view the small watercolors. These paintings are a series dedicated to Lake Orta and the Island of Saint Juilus in which volumes of water gently fade into simple geometric forms, contrived from light and color. A rich stairwell full of artwork leads up to the top floor, which is characterized by a large room dedicated to the creation of cinematic visualizations, graphemes, programmed art, and conceptual art, and offers to its visitors a cozy feel in a gallery that hosts a sort of personal anthology of twentieth century works of art.
Open from May 15 until October 15.
From Tuesday to Friday
Hours from 3 p.m to 7 p.m
Saturday and Sunday
Hours from 10 a.m to 12 a.m and from 3 p.m to 7 p.m