Mazzoleni is pleased to announce that the exhibition Post-War Italian Art Tales will be open to the public from 12 April 2021. Starting out from the revolutionary artistic experiences which marked the second half of the XX century, this exhibition highlights the fundamental role of Italian art in the international panorama from the later post-war period up until the present day.
The London gallery presents a selection of paintings and sculptures of some of the most representative protagonists of Italian art of the XX century: Carla Accardi (1924–2014), Getulio Alviani (1939–2018), Agostino Bonalumi (1935–2013), Alberto Burri (1915–1995), Enrico Castellani (1930–2017), Piero Dorazio (1927– 2005), Lucio Fontana (1899–1968), Piero Manzoni (1933–1963) and Fausto Melotti (1901–1986), together with two emblematic exponents of Arte Povera: Michelangelo Pistoletto (1933) and Jannis Kounellis (1936–2017). An iconic sculpture in burnt wood by Nunzio (1954) represents the most contemporary tendencies.
The exhibition is developed by taking on the form of storytelling: the works are narrated by way of a quote on the part of curators, art historians and critics whose descriptions embrace the stylistic research and creative methodology of the artists, offering the viewer with both suggestions and cues for understanding and placing the specific approach of the artist as part of the cultural scene between the past and the present. Accompanying the public in its viewing experience and with it establishing a personal dialogue we have the words written by Luciano Anceschi (1911–1995), Umbro Apollonio (1911–1981), Renato Barilli (1935), Giuliano Briganti (1918–1992), Germano Celant (1940–2020), Bruno Corà (1942), Gillo Dorfles (1910–2018), Gabriella Drudi (1922–1998), Tommaso Trini (1937) and Adachiara Zevi (1947).
The exhibition opens with the sign gestuality of the black letters on a white ground by Kounellis, a graphic style with its iconic traits, and continues with the work by Pistoletto who substitutes the pictorial support with 'mirroring surfaces', taking the viewer into a new experience of the space-time dimension of the work. A space which the sculpture itself creates with its 'fulls' and 'empties' in Nunzio's burnt wood, achieved with an archaic technique which emphasises its primordial force.
In the gallery's second room the tagli bianchi (white slashes) by Fontana and a cretto nero (black crack) by Burri pay homage to the two indisputable precursors of the opening of the surface to the concreteness of the three-dimensional space, respectively declined in spatial and matteric forms. Manzoni created white works, better known as Achromes, totally removing colour with the intention—to use the artist's own words—of achieving 'the unlimited meaning of a total space', beyond its physical and material boundaries. Castellani's estroflessioni or 'shaped canvases' are an equilibrium between equal and opposed forces which modulate the surface, perceptible to the eye due to the alternation of light and shade. In the red work by Bonalumi, on the other hand, the two-dimensional nature of the canvas is articulated in three-dimensional reliefs with free geometrical configurations that give life to the 'painting-object'. The sculpture by Melotti becomes weightless by way of its filiform and fragile structures, 'drawing' space and creating an harmonious and equilibrated composition.
In the third and last room the expressive dimension of the painting by Dorazio and Accardi is in dialogue with the movement of the reflecting and modular surfaces of a splendid example of the cerchi virtuali (virtual circles) series by Alviani.
After the last long lockdown period in the United Kingdom the Post-War Italian Art Tales exhibition proposes a series of masterpieces of the Mazzoleni Gallery's own collection accompanied by the words of critics and art historians who have lived side by side with the generations of the selected artists, sharing visions and experiences and furnishing the viewer with a new means of interpretation.
Mazzoleni was founded in Turin in 1986 by Giovanni and Anna Pia Mazzoleni, as a natural evolution of their private collection started in the 1950s. The historic Turin space, which occupies three floors of Palazzo Panizza, overlooking the city-centre Piazza Solferino, has since 2014 been flanked by the London gallery in Mayfair. Over the past three decades Mazzoleni has organised solo and group exhibitions of more than 200 prominent Italian and international artists from across the 20th century with an exhibition programme focused on museum-calibre Italian art from the post-war period and recently the contemporary panorama, working in close collaboration with artists' estates and foundations.Under the leadership of Davide and Luigi Mazzoleni, in recent years Mazzoleni has intensified its international activities, participating in numerous art fairs, including Art Basel (Basel, Miami and Hong Kong), Frieze Masters (London), TEFAF (Maastricht and New York) and FIAC (Paris).
Press release courtesy Mazzoleni.