From 06 June 1997 to 21 September 1997
Curated by Giorgio Verzotti
Painting is one of the languages through which the art system confirms its tradition. In contemporary artistic practice pictorial jargon is no longer resolved through its own self-legitimization, but is debated thanks to interventions that can either confirm and renew this practice or challenge it.
The exhibition moves in a dual investigative direction. On the one hand it examines the theme of painting through the work of artists whose presence is significant as an expression of a specific historical period or because of the methodological characteristics of their research; on the other hand it investigates Italian collecting as a tool of knowledge and appreciation of contemporary art.
Concentrating on a period that goes from the late ‘Fifties to the present and examining some of the most important artists from this recent period, the exhibition focuses on specific series of works tied to periods of activity for each artist, however with the awareness that an absolutely subjective choice is at play.
Thus while Alberto Burri’s paintings from 1964-1970, created from the combustion of sheets of transparent plastic, investigate the use of non-traditional and artificial materials, the works of Lucio Fontana are examined for their attention to space in the relationship between the painting and the third dimension, a theme brought to extreme consequences in subsequent years by Francesco Lo Savio. The exhibition continues with an examination of the analytical tensions of much research from the ‘Seventies, where Giorgio Griffa is one of the most important figures, and expressive practices that revive the emotional pathos of pictorial language and its symbolic function, as in the work of Vettor Pisani, to then arrive at the great propulsive period of the return to painting of the ‘Eighties on the part of artists of the Transavanguardia. Finally the research of younger artists is presented, where there is a reference to painting more for its imaginative power than for its specific activity, concluding in an examination of video practice as a technological medium that evokes pictorial corporeality, as in the works of Grazia Toderi.