Metafisica da Giardino

Nahmad Projects


At the end of 2018, Nahmad Projects held the exhibition Metafisica da Giardino. Curated by renowned Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, Metafisica da Giardino was another case of Vezzoli ‘styling the past’ by engaging with the twentieth century master Giorgio de Chirico. The show was also responsive to its site, in that de Chirico is an integral artist within the Nahmad Collection. The gallery was radically transformed with an artificially grassed floor and the walls painted entirely in murals stylising de Chirico’s iconic motif of the Piazza d’Italia. Vezzoli brought together works by himself and a selection of paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, ranging from the 1920s to the 1970s creating an historical dialogue, where the Italian twentieth century re-emerges as part of the present.

The Challenge

“Our goal is to create an historical dialogue, where the Italian twentieth century re-emerges as part of the present – but as seen through Vezzoli’s eyes”. Well, that says it all really as we set about making a book that combined acetate overlays, tip in tracing paper, throwouts and even a French folded section with die cut windows framing the prints. Each presented time, cost and handwork difficulties, but combining a thread sewn and PUR binding within one volume was certainly a big challenge. It was necessary because the designer wanted a 28pp French folded section (the pages are folded at the foredge) to create an internal space space only visible through a series of frames diecut into the outer page, revealing jewel-like images printed on the inside. Tricky but worth it!


  • A ‘bespoke’ Hurtwood book
  • We worked with the gallery in an advisory capacity to plan the book.
  • Pre-press, and print management by Hurtwood.
  • Text printed on Novatech Silk 200gsm, Mohawk Superfine Ultrawhite Eggshell 118gsm, Peregrin Majestic 120gsm, Folex Acetate and Cromatico 100gsm.
  • Thread sewn sections with PUR French folded section within book block.
  • Fully bound in Wibalin White Buckram over 2.5mm boards with matt white pigments foil on the spine.
  • All paper grain runs parallel to the spine and, along with the use of cold glue in the sewn sections, the book opens easily.