From 23 September 1994 to 20 November 1994
Curated by Ida Gianelli
After his debut with pictorial works full of Pop and New Dada suggestions, Pier Paolo Calzolari (Bologna, 1943) became involved in more radical experimentation, working on installations with a wide variety of materials spread freely in exhibition spaces, or even personally intervening with actions carried out in real time and space.
While documenting the artist’s various creative periods from the late ‘Sixties to the present, the retrospective does not follow a chronological layout but instead presents various relationships between work and setting, based on the architectural specificity of the spaces and on the nature of the works. The theme of light is studied; the flame, wax, the candle that scalds, burns down and leaves traces of soot is, for the artist, a symbolic presence of life, also when contrasted with the frost emitted by large freezing surfaces, where the white obtained from the mechanically produced frost is presented as pure essence. In addition to the freezing surfaces the exhibition includes paintings that, while realized in various materials – paper and tempera, moss and salt – are connected to the codified definition of the pictorial work. Always tending toward monochrome, some canvases are presented in relation to the quotidian reality by being placed alongside ordinary, banal objects, from a toy train to a stool to a small paper boat.
Finally there are works of an autobiographical nature from the late ‘Sixties that, in addition to calling upon the artist himself to play the role of mediator between work and user, present him as a principal referent. This occurs in the action that engages two people and some chicks, executed during the opening and in theory dedicated to the memory of the artist’s brother, or in one of the artist’s most famous pieces, which involves the presence of an albino dog as a complement to the ideal house.