On the occasion of the Festa della Repubblica, next Tuesday June 2, 2020 the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea will open extraordinarily to the public from 3 pm to 9 pm.
On June 2, visitors will be able to return to admire Marco Bagnoli’s Cinquantasei nomi (Fifty-six names, 1999-2000). The artwork is set up outside the Castello in the ancient decagonal basin made in 1868 to celebrate the inauguration of the aqueduct in the city of Rivoli.
The 56 rods from which the water spurts, similar to thin bamboo canes and five meters high, are painted in blue and red and have been made of anodized aluminum with the contemporary technique of “lost foam” which originates from the ancient method of “lost wax”, used to produce statues in bronze.
“The work designed by Bagnoli,” states Marcella Beccaria, Chief Curator and Curator of Collections of the Museum, “is composed by canes arranged in ‘quincunx’, the arrangement in parallel rows staggered by half a step, similar to the number five in the dice. Unit of measurement used since the time of the ancient Romans, the quincunx corresponds to the fraction 5/12, as indicated by the eponymous Latin word, given by quinque ‘five’ and uncia ‘ounce’, submultiple that indeed represents the twelfth part of a unit. In its visual form, the quincunx is composed by a ‘V’, five in Latin, duplicated and upturned at the corner, so to form the letter ‘X’. Currently adopted in arboriculture to arrange various types of plantations in a geometric shape, the pattern of the quincunx can be traced back to ancient times. Already used in the Gardens of Babylon and perhaps by Noah after the Flood, the quincunx could even descend from the arrangement of trees in Paradise, which literally means garden. In nature, the quincunx can be found in the structure of leaves, flowers and seeds of tree species. Applications of the quincunx included the layout of military formations among the Macedonians, the Greeks and the Romans, and is also traceable in some ancient town planning, in architecture, in chess-board games, and even in the Labyrinth of Crete, as told by Sir Thomas Browne in The Garden of Cyrus, a scholarly volume on the subject published in 1658.
Intentionally, Bagnoli’s work embraces these infinite references, and the X-shaped structure at the basis of the work can be interpreted in relation to the formula SPACE X TIME which summarizes the artist’s research.”
After a scientific education and a degree in chemistry, Marco Bagnoli (Empoli, 1949), starts to work as an artist in the 70s. His important international exhibitions include Venice Biennale (1982, 1986, 1997), documenta, Kassel (1982, 1992), and Sonsbeek, Arnhem (1986). Solo exhibitions where held in prestigious institutions, such as De Appel, Amsterdam (1980 and 1984), Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Genève (1985), Musée Saint-Pierre art contemporain, Lyon (1987), Magasin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble (1991), Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino (1992), Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (1995), IVAM, Centre del Carme, Valencia (2000), České Muzeum Výtvarných Umění, Prague (2009), Madre, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples (2015). In 1981 he conceived an installation for the Villa Medicea La Ferdinanda di Artimino, followed by works made in dialogue with architectures of historical and spiritual importance, such as, in Florence, the Cappella Pazzi (1984), the Octagonal Hall of the Fortezza da Basso (1989), the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte (1992, 1994, 2012, 2018-2019), the Forte di Belvedere (2003, 2017), the Boboli Gardens (2013), the Stazione Leopolda (2014). On May 2017 the artist opened the Atelier Marco Bagnoli in Montelupo Fiorentino. The Atelier is a multifunctional space, conceived as a “total work of art” hosting an exhibition in progress of his works, from 1972 to the present. Works by Bagnoli are part of the collections of several international institutions. Since 1976 the artist made many permanent installations, including works for Palazzo Durini and the Piantagione Paradise of Bolognano in Pescara; Ascolta il flauto di canna (Listen to the Cane Flute), 1985-2007, and Dacché sia notte, entra (Since Night, Enter), 2007, in the park of Villa La Magia in Quarrata; Amore e Psiche, 2010, in the Parco Mediceo di Pratolino in Vaglia; Immacolata concezione (Immaculate conception), 2011, inside the ChiantiBanca in Piazza Duomo in Florence; the fountain L’anello mancante alla catena che non c’è (The missing link to the chain that does not exist, 1989-2017) in Piazza Ciardi in Prato.
For the celebrations of its Millennium 1018-2018, the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte commissioned to the artist the work Janua Coeli, an installation of works inside and outside the Basilica, and of opening and closing ceremonial events. In 2018 Germano Celant published the monograph Marco Bagnoli (Skira, Milan) with unpublished texts by the artist.
Part of the permanent collection of the Museum, the work by Bagnoli Cinquantasei nomi was presented for the first time at the Castello in June 2000, commissioned by the former Director Ida Gianelli and produced with the contribution of Dongo S.p.A. The current restoration is made possible thanks to the support of Seda Group and Gianfranco D’Amato.