From 23 September 2019 to 10 November 2019
Chiesa di San Domenico, Via Teobaldo Calissano, 7 –Alba (CN)
September 22 – November 10, 2019
Drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Caterina Molteni.
Archival section on Pinot Gallizio curated by Maria Teresa Roberto, Giorgina Bertolino and Francesca Comisso (Archivio Gallizio)
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and Fondazione CRC present For an Imaginist Renewal of the World. Pellizza da Volpedo (Taner Ceylan), Pinot Gallizio (with Constant, Giorgio Gallizio, Asger Jorn, Jan Kotik and Piero Simondo), Mario Merz, an exhibition conceived for the Church of San Domenico in Alba, that will take place from September 22 until November 10, 2019.
The exhibition features works from the Collections of the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, the Fondazione CRC, and private collections, along with selected archive materials from the Archivio Gallizio, the Archivio Simondo and the Fondo Gallizio of GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin.
Establishing a dialog between the artistic production of Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo (Volpedo, 1868 – 1907), Pinot Gallizio (Alba, 1902 – 1964) and Mario Merz (Milan, 1925 – 2003), the exhibition emphasizes an aesthetic of plurality moving from a reflection on collectivity, social representation, laboratory production and ‘free artist’.
This aesthetic of plurality takes the cue from a local dimension, which expresses the freedom and the spontaneity of artistic research: from the rural socialism of Pellizza da Volpedo, through the eclectic and catalyst activity of Pinot Gallizio, to the discovery, in Mario Merz’s oeuvre, of a natural and spiraling dynamism as possible expression of social movement.
Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo(Volpedo, 1868 – 1907) is one of the foremost Italian painters in the realistic and divisionist style. Il Quarto Stato(The Fourth Estate), 1901, is one of the well-known historical paintings and over time it became an icon for democratic movements worldwide, a symbol of the dignity of workers, and of a social class seeking to arm its rights.
On display, there is Volpedo’s The Fourth Estate – Copy of Taner Ceylan, 2015, a new edition of Quarto Statocreated by Turkish artist Taner Ceylan on the occasion of the 14th Istanbul Biennale in 2015. Born in Germany in 1967, Ceylan is already known to the international public for his hyperrealistic painting addressing the representation of the queer body in Islamic society.
In paying homage to the occupation of Gezi Park in 2013 and the demonstrations that followed the Soma disaster in 2014, Ceylan reproduces Pellizza da Volpedo’s well-known painting and the working-class spirit he celebrated. Volpedo’s The Fourth Estate – Copy of Taner Ceylan, 2015, focusing on the representation and the dissemination of truth, opening a reflection on the problematic relationship between truth and politics in contemporary society.
Druggist, chemist, botanist, archaeologist and enologist, Pinot Gallizio(Alba, 1902 – 1964) began to work as an artist at the age of fifty, after meeting Piero Simondo. With him, he organized the First World Conference of Free Artists in Alba, in 1956. During the conference, he created the painting Untitledalong with Constant, Asger Jorn, Jan Kotik, Piero Simondo and Giorgio Gallizio. The work is the result of the experience of the Experimental Laboratory, a collective work space in which subjective artistic research met the scientific and alchemical knowledge of materials and their properties. Presented in this exhibition, Senza titolo (o rotolo di pittura industriale) (Untitled – or Industrial Painting Roll), 1958, provides an example of the ‘industrial painting’ that developed in opposition to the idea of originality, authorship and uniqueness of the work of art. This type of painting made use of production materials such as tar, sand and oils, and came in industrial formats, such as long rolls.
Among the artists of Senza titolo(Untitled), 1956, Piero Simondois a post second world war painter and one of the founders of the Situationist International. After studying Chemistry at University, in 1952 he attended the faculty of Philosophy in Turin, where he met his partner Elena Verrone, a fellow philosophy student from Alba. In the same year, he also began to paint while attending courses of Felice Casorati at the Albertina Fine Art Academy in Turin. On the occasion of a conference on German Expressionism in Alba, which he held upon Verrone’s invitation, Simondo first met Pinot Gallizio, twenty-years his elder, who initiated his practice as an artist after meeting Simondo. In 1953, Simondo started to experiment with abstract paintings, sewing household linen cotton cloths; Figurine, 1955, epitomizes such research.
In this period, Gallizio often hosted Simondo in Alba, sharing with him his own studio. Their friendship led to the founding of the Laboratorio Sperimentale del Movimento Internazionale per una “Bauhaus Immaginista”, along with Asger Jorn – whom Simondo and Verrone met in 1955 at Albisola. A nomadic and theorical movement, the Laboratorio Sperimentale championed a collective practice-based research, as a famous and staged photo of a M.I.B.I collaborative session, in Gallizio’s house courtyard and Simondo’s studio in Alba, shows.
At the center of the central nave of the Church of San Domenico is set up Architettura fondata dal tempo – Architettura sfondata dal tempo(Time-Based Architecture – Time-Debased Architecture), 1981, by Mario Merz. Among the protagonists of Arte Povera, the artist created his works making use of a variety of everyday materials and motifs—ranging from metal rods to glass fragments, from fresh fruit to bundles of branches, from piles of newspapers to neon tubes, from words to numbers. In 1967, he also began working on his first Igloo, a hemispherical domed structure that represents a temporary and nomadic architectural ideal, a house simultaneously ancient and contemporary, a symbol of the celestial vault and of conviviality.
The large installation Architettura fondata dal tempo – Architettura sfondata dal tempo (Time-Based Architecture – Time-Debased Architecture), 1981, joins the igloo, made of iron tubing, stones, and glass, with a circular structure created from iron and piles of branches that sinuously extends out from the igloo. It is broken through by a large painted canvas that depicts an imaginary prehistoric animal. Thus architecture (the igloo), which is established by the time of civilization, is in its turn worn down and continually and dynamically brought into question (and into play) by the time of nature.
Curated by the Archivio Gallizio, a selection of archive materials from the Archivio Gallizio, the Archivio Simondo and the Fondo Gallizio of GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, shows the artistic activity of Pinot Gallizio with a particular focus on the first Congress of imaginist artists that took place in Alba in 1956.
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and Fondazione CRC contextually organize from 21 to 22 September For an Imaginist Renewal of the World. The Alba Congress: 1956-2019, a poetic reenactment of the 1956 Alba Congress which from the council hall of the Municipality of Alba, the “Beppe Fenoglio” Hall and the Alba Wine School, will develop along the streets and in the alleys of the city with a rich program of conferences, activities, performances and screenings.
Monday – Friday: 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10 am – 12 pm / 3 pm – 6 pm
We thank the Archivio Gallizio and its President Liliana Dematteis for the collaboration