May 15, 2013

Donato Zangrossi, Casa delle girandole/The house with the pinwheels

unknown photographer (picture made available 
by Zangrossi's daughter to the Allogi Barbario weblog )

Venice has a lot of creative and artistic constructs which are admired by people from all over the world. It also once had an art environment that was loved and admired by the locals: the casa delle girandole, the house with the pinweels.

unknown photographer

Life and work

Donato Zangrossi (1905 - 1990) already as a young man liked making drawings and he also was rather interested in reading books, especially about philosophy and astronomy. However, he got a job as a factory worker.

He married and got three children, Tragically his wife died at an early age. Zangrossi remarried and the couple went to live in the house of Zangrossi's parents in the Campo Castelforte quarter of Venice.

unknown photographer

Probably in the sixties he began decorating the exterior of this house, first embellishing it with a couple of pinwheels he had constructed himself, then also adding more kinetic art and small colored wooden items.

In the eighties the exterior had become fully equipped with these self-constructed wooden items and pinwheels.

example of small wooden items in the decoration

After Zangrossi died in 1990 the decorations were no longer cared for. 

The next picture, a screenprint from a 1995 video (see documentation), shows the facade as it was some years after its author had passed away.

Growing interest

Recently, in relation with the Italian costruttori di babele project, interest in Zangrossi's creation and comparable ones in the Veneto region has increased.

Giada Carraro, correspondent of the project, already wrote a thesis and in 2014 published a book about the site.

In general Giada is active in promoting interest in arte irregolari, inter alia by organizing conferences such as one about the Casa Bepi Suá on Burano, which took place in 2013.

* Giada Carraro, La casa delle girandolle, L'arte cinetica di un poeta astronomo veneziano. Ed Linaria, 2014
* Article (april 6, 2013) in a local newspaper La Nuova (in italian)
* Article (april 7, 2013) in another local newspaper, about the costruttori di babele project  (in italian)
* Article by Giada Carraro in Rivista dell'Osservatorio Outsider Art, nr 6 october 2013,
* Video "Il nonno bambino",1995, Acadamy of Fine Arts, Venice (two students researching the site)
* Entry on website Costruttori di Babele

Donato Zangrossi
Casa delle girandole
Corte dei Preti
Campo Castelforte
Venezia, Veneto, Italy
this art environment could be seen from the Rio Frescada,
the site doesn't exist anymore 

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