In 1985, Antonio Ratti created in Como the non-profit foundation that bears his name, with the desire to share his passion for art and textiles and to preserve his textile collection.
Over the past 30 years, FAR has been supporting and promoting research and experimentation in culture and the arts, including scholars, established and emerging artists in a lively and open environment.
The Foundation, headed by Annie Ratti since 2002, is located in Villa Sucota, an historic building on Lake Como. Here we find Antonio Ratti’s extraordinary collection of antique textiles preserved – with more than 30.000 pieces from across the globe – and a library open to the public with more than 7800 volumes specialized in textiles, fashion, visual arts and crafts.
Every year the program Artists' Research Laboratory (CSAV) is held in this location. It was conceived by Annie Ratti in 1995, with the intention of allowing young international artists to deepen their practices and research through experimentation and dialogue with major figures on the contemporary art scene.
FAR organizes also a wide range of activities, courses, lectures and seminars dedicated to different subjects, from history of textile to theory of art, from cineforum to permaculture.
In addition, FAR proposes exhibitions in which antique textiles from the collection dialogue with contemporary works of art, activating unexpected connections between the two souls of the Foundation.
The spaces of the villa and the surrounding garden – that host site-specific artworks made by a selection of artists who have collaborated with the Foundation – become thus places of encounter and debate platforms where visitors, scholars, entrepreneurs and experts from different fields have the chance to meet and gather in order to expand and deepen their research and influence each other in the process.
Fondazione Antonio Ratti is therefore internationally renowned and is part of a larger network of institutions which exchange and develop ideas together. The location of Villa Sucota – where FAR moved in 2010 becoming part of the Kilometer of Knowledge project – places the Foundation in a wider cultural context in terms of its architecture and location, thus acting as a cultural reference point for the city of Como.