Libri di Nicoletta Poo - libri Johan & Levi Editore

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Nicoletta Poo

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Johan & Levi

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«Architects must be in touch with living, because living is everything»: words that would appear to have been on Lina Bo Bardi’s mind as early as 1946, when boarded a ship to Rio de Janeiro, her eyes filled with curiosity and her mind open, leaving behind the ruins of an Italy devastated by war. Travelling inside her were both Achillina, the impertinent girl marked by her disdain for the social mores and rules of her time, and Lina Bo, the young, tenacious professional who, following her university studies under Marcello Piacentini in Rome, went to Milan to fight for her independence in a world of men, becoming Deputy Director of Domus magazine while winning the esteem of Gio Ponti, Bruno Zevi and her future husband, Pietro Maria Bardi.Translating into thought and practice an existence in constant flux, Lina gave full expression to her original voice as an architect, designer, curator and set designer in Brazil. Her best known buildings – the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, the Casa de Vidro, and the SESC Pompéia centre – reflect a focus on the collective, on ties to nature and folk traditions, making for extremely modern, unconventional architecture.The result of twenty years of research, Zeuler R. Lima’s portrait grasps the complexity of a woman who shunned the beaten path, journeying through her own contradictions without hesitation, tossed back and forth between her revolutionary impulses and the incurable melancholy of her soul. The author does not shy away from the more sombre side of her life, inevitably visible even in the photo of Lina on the deck of the ship on which she crossed the Atlantic, in keeping with the epithet coined for her by Valentino Bompiani, “the tired goddess”: a solitary rebel whose intellectual legacy is more alive today than ever.
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La dea stanca

Vita di Lina Bo Bardi

Zeuler R. Lima

pages: 396 pages

«Architects must be in touch with living, because living is everything»: words that would appear to have been on Lina Bo Bardi’s mind as early as 1946, when boarded a ship to Rio de Janeiro, her eyes filled with curiosity and her mind open, leaving behind the ruins of an Italy devastated by war. Travelling inside her were both Achillina, the im
We are more likely to glean an idea of the universe by creating infinitesimal objects than by remaking the whole sky. Sculptor Alberto Giacometti put it like this: in order to grasp the truth and give it tangible form, he often ended up reducing the scale of what was around him. It must be said, shrunken objects have profoundly revealing qualities: from childhood, we manipulate small cars, little men and bricks, creating miniature empires that we can dominate, putting us on a par with an adult, perhaps even a giant. This aspiration does not always end after we’ve grow up; indeed, it can sometimes turn into total dedication to the most eccentric endeavours. This was the case of Edwin Lutyens, who in the 1920s meticulously designed a dolls’ house for Queen Mary, equipping it with teeny tiny objects, all perfectly functional, created by the most famous artists and craftsmen of the day. Simon Garfield moves through time and space to discover a microcosm populated by collectors, model-makers and diehard enthusiasts. He celebrates its punctiliousness and obsession, investigates the origin of this universe, and manages to find unlikely worlds in the eye of a needle. Prepare to meet incredibly skillful circus fleas, microscopic Lilliputian city dwellers, a lady from Chicago who reconstructs crime scenes the size of a nutshell, and the Chapman brothers’ army of thousands of tiny Hitlers. We should not forget, the miniature intersects with the world of art, broadening the perception of what our mind already believes it knows to give us deep, enlightening insights into the full-scale world around us.
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In miniatura

Perché le cose piccole illuminano il mondo

Simon Garfield

pages: 216 pages

We are more likely to glean an idea of the universe by creating infinitesimal objects than by remaking the whole sky. Sculptor Alberto Giacometti put it like this: in order to grasp the truth and give it tangible form, he often ended up reducing the scale of what was around him. It must be said, shrunken objects have profoundly revealing qualities
Since 2005, the proceeds from sales in the art market have almost doubled, surpassing 60 billion dollars yearly. Art fairs and events have proliferated like mushrooms; auctions reach dizzying figures and the overall demand for artwork has increased exponentially. And yet, this peculiar gold rush is only part of the story. Looking more closely, behind the slick vernissages in museums and galleries, behind Christie’s and Sotheby’s glorious records and ever-changing leadership, lies a much darker side. In fact, the legacy of this boom has been a rapid increase in the concentration of power in the hands of a few mega-players who can singlehandedly determine the price – and thus the value – of a work of art. This concentration has had many repercussions: artists are branded like merchandise; art is increasingly treated as an nothing more than an investment; fraud and the circulation of forgeries are on the rise; the temptation to avoid or falsify tax records has intensified and methods of art production and sales have changed. In recent years, Georgina Adam, astute contributor to the most influential art magazines, has been gathering interviews, statements and testimonies from leading figures in the art system, confronting shady intrigues and scandalous backstories of the often opaque and always poorly regulated art market. With discrete irony, Adam explains the notorious auctions of works by Picasso, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, as well as the financial dealings of luxury tycoons and nouveaux riches Asians. With a genuine outsider’s view, she follows the most incredible intrigues and legal proceedings of the art market, where – as one might expect – all that glitters is not gold.
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Dark Side of the Boom

Controversie, intrighi, scandali nel mercato dell'arte

Georgina Adam

pages: 254 pages

Since 2005, the proceeds from sales in the art market have almost doubled, surpassing 60 billion dollars yearly. Art fairs and events have proliferated like mushrooms; auctions reach dizzying figures and the overall demand for artwork has increased exponentially. And yet, this peculiar gold rush is only part of the story. Looking more closely, behi

Duty Free Art

L'arte nell'epoca della guerra civile planetaria

Hito Steyerl

pages: 212 pages

Gigantic secret museums crop up nowadays in no-man’s-lands that circumvent national sovereignties and are closed to the public. They are duty-free storage facilities where works of art – albeit sealed in their packing cases – are used as alternative currency for the circulation of assets worth billions from one end of the world to the other:
An artist loved by other artists, starting with Boccioni who praises his subversive power, Medardo Rosso (1858‒1928) produced revolutionary work that has never ceased to influence each new generation of sculptors. A forerunner to trends that were only fully developed in the 20th century, Rosso enjoyed extraordinary success after his death, making an indelible impression upon artists such as Brancusi, Giacometti and Moore, but also on many of his contemporaries: Fabrio stated that he owed him a substantial debt, and Anselmo, when faced with his wax sculptures, recognized how the material forged by Rosso vibrated from within, almost as if it had a beating heart of its own. From the very outset, Rosso set himself an irreverent objective: to dematerialize monumental sculpture, which went from being eternal and celebratory to anti-heroic and able to capture a fleeting moment in his creations. However, he was also revolutionary in overstepping geographical barriers at a time when art was strongly defined within national borders. Having grown up after the Unification of Italy and disappointed by the empty promises of the Risorgimento, he left the country in 1889 for Paris, where he spent much of his life. An emigrant by choice and cosmopolitan by vocation, his fearless personality meant that he shunned any form of belonging, but made him receptive towards every modern stimulus, from new channels of communication to progress in photography, enabling him to draw upon a variety of visual sources and circulate his work as never before in his turn. What is more, by working on a small scale, Rosso turned the most static and heavy of the arts into an easily transportable product, in keeping with the unorthodox strategies he developed to promote his work. This essay is the first to explore Rosso’s activity from a historical and transnational perspective, offering an alternative to the officially accepted account of the birth of modern sculpture. While Rodin has always been assigned the role of isolated and heroic innovator, Sharon Hecker upholds the important part played by an artist who pioneered many practices that have become commonplace in the global artistic vocabulary today.
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Un monumento al momento

Medardo Rosso e le origini della scultura contemporanea

Sharon Hecker

pages: 320 pages

An artist loved by other artists, starting with Boccioni who praises his subversive power, Medardo Rosso (1858‒1928) produced revolutionary work that has never ceased to influence each new generation of sculptors. A forerunner to trends that were only fully developed in the 20th century, Rosso enjoyed extraordinary success after his death, making
The future of the public museum has never seemed more at risk: rather than representing the diverse interests of society as a whole, in most cases it has been reduced to a vehicle for promoting block-buster events and protecting the privileges of private concerns, giving rise to temples of amusement and entertainment that are unable to grasp the actual historic moment in its entirety. Apart, that is, from the odd happy but rare exception. In this short essay, Claire Bishop talks about the experience of three European institutions of contemporary art – the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía in Madrid and the MSUM in Ljubljana – which have dealt with the challenge of cuts to public funding dictated by austerity measures by making a virtue of necessity and developing brilliant alternatives to the dominant mantra of “bigger and better, and, if possible, also more profitable”. Through enlightened policies regarding the acquisition of new work and the display of their own permanent collection, these museums have turned themselves into places dedicated to experimentation, capable of using their own resources to put together a critical discourse and cast a political eye on the current period in history. In re-opening discussion of a heated international debate, Museologia Radicale outlines a manifesto for a new concept of contemporary, which should be seen as a practice and not merely as periodization, favouring a reinterpretation of the museum’s role as an institution charged with preserving cultural heritage, at the same time providing a critical voice that can interrogate the present and contribute to creating a different future.
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Museologia radicale

Ovvero, cos'è “contemporaneo” nei musei di arte contemporanea?

Claire Bishop

pages: 88 pages

The future of the public museum has never seemed more at risk: rather than representing the diverse interests of society as a whole, in most cases it has been reduced to a vehicle for promoting block-buster events and protecting the privileges of private concerns, giving rise to temples of amusement and entertainment that are unable to grasp the ac

Curatori d'assalto

L'irrefrenabile impulso alla curatela nel mondo dell'arte e in tutto il resto

David Balzer

pages: 168 pages

From image makers to playlists, from gourmet menus to singing festivals and even VIP weddings, nowadays everything is “curated by”, and “curate”, “curator” and related terms are on the lips and on the curriculum of everyone who wants to make an impression and stand out from the crowd. Whereas even the most disparate companies have adopt
New York, autumn 1978. Thursday evening at eight o’clock on the dot, Robert Mapplethorpe, bold and elegant in his black leather jacket, descends the stairs and makes his entrance into the main room of the notorious Mineshaft, the buzzy underground men-only club, temple and haven for every form of perversion. This is the sparkling voracious decade of gay emancipation: art and sex are closely bound together and Warhol’s prediction about everyone’s fifteen minutes of fame is an existential imperative. Mapplethorpe, the outrageous provocative photographer, brandishes his Hasselblad as if it were a revolver and aims straight at the dark side of those years when he is both witness and protagonist: statuesque nudes or bodies wrapped in latex and ropes, leather scenes, fetishistic activity, and his Mephistophelean self-portraits. He was an “outlaw” from hell who took the dogmas of American society by storm and became, in spite of attempts to censure him, one of the most acclaimed artists of the twentieth century after his death from AIDS in 1989.  Written by Jack Fritscher – lover and companion to Mapplethorpe in the late seventies and editor of the first magazine to publish his controversial images – this is not a biography in the strict sense: it is the portrait of a wild-at-heart period, recounted in all its excess and bizarre detail in an ironic upbeat style, comprising rapid-fire dialogue and hallucinatory portraits. But it is above all an intimate and personal collage of memories, meetings, loves, vices, obsessions, illness, illustrious friendships, lyrical interludes, scenes from everyday life and tales of derring-do, which allows the profile of a vulnerable man to emerge, a man of crystalline purity and at the same time ambitious and cocky, always intent on feeding the mystique that surrounded his public image. Robert Mapplethorpe was a risk-taker in life and in art, he courted danger and turned his own existence into a sequence of “perfect shots”.
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Robert Mapplethorpe

Fotografia a mano armata

Jack Fritscher

pages: 352 pages

New York, autumn 1978. Thursday evening at eight o’clock on the dot, Robert Mapplethorpe, bold and elegant in his black leather jacket, descends the stairs and makes his entrance into the main room of the notorious Mineshaft, the buzzy underground men-only club, temple and haven for every form of perversion. This is the sparkling voracious decade
Art, says William Kentridge, is its own form of knowledge. It is not a simple integration of the real world, nor can it be considered only in the rational terms of classic academic disciplines. The studio is the crucial place for the creation of meaning: it is the place where linear thinking gives way to eye, hand, paper and charcoal, to the material processes that give creativity its vital spark. The act of drawing, of dirtying our hands, has the power to put us in touch with the most complex issues of our time. Kentridge is very interested in how we attribute structure and meaning to the fluidity of experience: we strive to glimpse a familiar outline in the changing shapes of clouds and we assemble scraps of paper into a shape that is instantly recognizable to an onlooker. This powerful need for meaning – looking at a group of fragments and attributing a value to them, taking the fragments and composing an image – is present not only when looking at the shadows of things, but in everything we see, even in how we interpret the world of geography or politics. To show us the mechanisms – often illusory – by which we reconstruct meaning in the world, the author uses language and the instruments of logic to flesh out an idea as if they were paper and charcoal. He thus also adds practical notions to a discussion that ranges from Plato’s cave to the Enlightenment’s role in colonial oppression, from how optical instruments work to the depiction of animals in art, Kentridge’s Six Drawing Lessons is a compendium of his ideas about art, on making art and on the need to leave space for stupidity, that is both clever and light-hearted. He does not celebrate stupidity itself, but tells us it can hold more surprises than a studio full of good ideas.
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Sei lezioni di disegno

William Kentridge

pages: 160 pages

Art, says William Kentridge, is its own form of knowledge. It is not a simple integration of the real world, nor can it be considered only in the rational terms of classic academic disciplines. The studio is the crucial place for the creation of meaning: it is the place where linear thinking gives way to eye, hand, paper and charcoal, to the materi
This is the eternal question that the philosopher and critic Arthur C. Danto tackles in an essay that is part philosophical dissertation, part autobiographical musings. Taking his distance from the view that reduces art to what is regarded as such in an institutional context, or those who even consider it to be indefinable, the author identifies various features that can help provide some clear outlines, including the ontological permanence of art, beyond the different forms in which it manifests itself. What makes art art is the ability to lend form to an idea, to express an idea by means of an artistic "modus operandi" that translates thought into matter in the most effective way, bypassing contingencies. But that's not the full story. Art has to embody something intangible: like a daydream, it has to induce a new emotive and sensory state in the viewer. Danto thus arrives at conclusions far removed from the relativism attributed to him for decades: understanding art does not depend on an open concept, but an open mind. Guiding the reader through the big names in philosophy and art of every age (particularly Michelangelo, Poussin, Duchamp and Warhol), the author takes an ambitious path from Platonic and Kantian theory to an analysis of the innovations - perspective, chiaroscuro, physiognomy and the advent of photography - that have shaped Western art, until its apparent burn-out with the arrival of conceptual poetics and the disappearance of aesthetics as a value. As well as exploring fascinating new developments, What is Art? distills the essence of decades of work, and thus represents an ideal introduction to the work of America's greatest visual arts critic.
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Che cos'è l'arte

Arthur C. Danto

pages: 126 pages

This is the eternal question that the philosopher and critic Arthur C. Danto tackles in an essay that is part philosophical dissertation, part autobiographical musings. Taking his distance from the view that reduces art to what is regarded as such in an institutional context, or those who even consider it to be indefinable, the author identifies va
 

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