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Infinity Net
A silvery sea of reflecting spheres, vast expanses of white phalluses, a proliferation of polka dots that overflow the canvases to invade the entire room. In the middle, swallowed up by her own art, a minute Japanese woman with pitch black hair. Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto into a traditionalist family in 1929. As soon as she was able, little Yayoi took refuge on the plantations of her maternal grandfather, where she abandoned herself amid clouds of hollyhocks the outlandish visions that were then captured on canvas. Painting was the only relief for the existential angst that struck her at a very early age, and she decided to embrace it all the way, even if it meant putting an entire ocean between herself and those seeking to prevent her. At the age of 28 she arrived in New York, hell on earth, and art was once again he salvation. She overcame poverty and repeated nervous breakdowns, exorcising her phobias with the celebrated Infinity Nets and soft sculptures. It was a short step from “psychosomatic” art to wild, orgiastic performances. In the late 1960s she rode the hippy wave and the Kusama Happenings became the key events of the pacifist revolution. The priestess of polka dots asked a policeman whether he preferred war or free love. Her disciples addressed her as “sister” like a nun because, contrary to what her outraged compatriots believed, she directed the dances but did not participate. In actual fact, she found sex literally horrifying, far more so than death, which her friend Joseph Cornell described as no more than going into the next room. Related in the first person with disconcerting sincerity and a wealth of authentically comic anecdotes, these pages trace the trajectory of one of the most eccentric, ambivalent and charming personalities that Japanese art has ever known.
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Infinity Net

La mia autobiografia

Yayoi Kusama

pages: 160 pages

A silvery sea of reflecting spheres, vast expanses of white phalluses, a proliferation of polka dots that overflow the canvases to invade the entire room. In the middle, swallowed up by her own art, a minute Japanese woman with pitch black hair. Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto into a traditionalist family in 1929. As soon as she was able, little
Un ritratto mondano
This book reconstructs the life and artistic career of the photographer Ghitta Carell (1899-1972). A Hungarian Jew, in 1924 she moved to Italy, where she rapidly became one of the country’s most famous portrait photographers. Exhibiting great determination, Carell entered into contact with Italy’s aristocracy and leading intellectual and political circles. She photographed Maria Jose of Savoy and the Royal Family, and the twentieth century art critic and theorist Margherita Sarfatti. Hers were some of the most famous shots of Benito Mussolini, photographs which made her famous and which remain some of the best known images of Il Duce to this day. In 1938 she experienced the nightmare of anti-Semitism and the war, while the post-war period saw her enter a gradual decline. The story of her life and artistic career possesses a much broader reach than classic accounts of the modern period. While often dismissed as the “photographer of power”, or “of the heart”, Carell’s photography is altogether more refined and complex. Her polished work forges a captivating dialogue that melds the tensions and contrasts between avant-garde tendencies and tradition that animated artistic debate in the Fascist period. Her virtuoso figurative oeuvre is infused with distant, at times contrasting echoes, with shades of Renaissance and Baroque portraiture meeting the nascent aesthetic of Hollywood glamour. Her work awaits the critical acknowledgement that the consummate prowess of her art indubitably merits.
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Un ritratto mondano

Fotografie di Ghitta Carell

Roberto Dulio

pages: 108 pages

This book reconstructs the life and artistic career of the photographer Ghitta Carell (1899-1972). A Hungarian Jew, in 1924 she moved to Italy, where she rapidly became one of the country’s most famous portrait photographers. Exhibiting great determination, Carell entered into contact with Italy’s aristocracy and leading intellectual and politi
Piero Manzoni
6 February 1963: at the age of just 30 Piero Manzoni was found dead of a heart attack in his studio in via Fiori Chiari. From that moment on his reputation as a provocateur and wild child preceded him, with his most subversive work, Artist’s Shit, elevating him to cult status. But what actually came before and lay behind those 30 grams of pure artistic output? Flaminio Gualdoni sets out to explore exactly that in this biography that traces the guiding themes of Manzoni’s works, lending order to a jumble of hitherto fragmented materials and setting aside any apocryphal hypotheses. Milan’s “dolce vita” nightlife and the artist’s youthful bike expeditions; the early experiments under Fontana, in the search for a personal style, and the partnerships with young Italian contemporaries and international avant-garde movements which brought acclaim and recognition. This fast-moving career relegates Manzoni the private individual increasingly into the background, turning the spotlight purely on Manzoni the artist. What emerges powerfully, even in his continuous, incessant experimentation with all kinds of media – from painting to designs for immersive environments – is the compact kernel of an aesthetic adventure around the very essence of the work of art. And his life, in the dual sense of everyday existence and exceptional artistic undertaking, was necessarily an integral part of this tenaciously pursued adventure. In the words of the artist: “There is nothing to say; there is only to be, to live.”
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Piero Manzoni

Vita d'artista

Flaminio Gualdoni

pages: 240 pages

6 February 1963: at the age of just 30 Piero Manzoni was found dead of a heart attack in his studio in via Fiori Chiari. From that moment on his reputation as a provocateur and wild child preceded him, with his most subversive work, Artist’s Shit, elevating him to cult status. But what actually came before and lay behind those 30 grams of pure ar
Hard Media
What is pornography? A mere sociological phenomenon or an aesthetic category? And above all, how has pornographic representation changed over the last few years with the evolution of the media? With a broad approach encompassing various spheres of contemporary reality, from photography, the visual arts and web performances to television and cinema, Bruno Di Marino examines the many facets of the presentation of obscenity. From Courbet’s Origine du Monde, Duchamp’s objects, Man Ray’s Four Seasons and performances of an erotic and political nature, this in-depth historical and art-critical investigation takes us behind the scenes of porn with the photographs of Sultan and Greenfield-Sanders, and on to the big screen with the successful alliance of experimental and X-rated cinema in the “hot” films of masters like Gioli and Warhol, pornographic found footage and the new frontiers of video art and video clips. The key turning point comes with transition from the private sphere to the Internet with the infinite universe of YouPorn and the proliferation of increasingly daring forms of interchange between the real and immaterial worlds. The last two decades have seen a spectacularization and normalization of pornography that has definitively violated its taboo also – and indeed above all – for the female public, giving rise to a uncontrolled increase in amateur production and hence a crisis for professional hardcore. Having become a fragmentary and boundless hypermedia archive of forms, codes, languages and images, pornography is now a world midway between fiction and reality that even threatens to transform essential aspects of everyday life into a sort of mise-en-scène.  
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Hard Media

La pornografia nelle arti visive, nel cinema e nel web

Bruno Di Marino

pages: 184 pages

What is pornography? A mere sociological phenomenon or an aesthetic category? And above all, how has pornographic representation changed over the last few years with the evolution of the media? With a broad approach encompassing various spheres of contemporary reality, from photography, the visual arts and web performances to television and cinema,
Alfred Jarry
On his death at the age of just 34, Alfred Jarry (Laval, 1873 – Paris, 1907) was already a legend in the Parisian salons, albeit more for his irreverent anti-conventionalism than his literary genius. It was not until decades later that he was recognized as one of the fathers of the avant-garde and Ubu Roi became the emblem of radically modern theatre. His influence was so deep and lasting that a community of adepts still maintains a posthumous dialogue with his ideas today through the College of Pataphysics, where Italian intellectuals like Italo Calvino, Enrico Baj and Umberto Eco figure alongside other great names in international culture. For many, however, Jarry is still just the author of an absurd, grotesque play and his life a mere string of outlandish anecdotes: his disruption of the literary Tuesdays held by the wife of the editor of the Mercure de France, the total identification with Père Ubu that ultimately devoured him, the disdain for any form of respectability, the scatological sense of humour, Herculean bouts of drinking, exploits with revolver, bicycle and fishing rod, and the dying wish for a toothpick. The anecdotes remain in this first full-length critical biography and are indeed augmented due to a host of new sources. Alastair Brotchie draws upon this previously unpublished material with discernment, however, and thus manages to separate the man from the myth and go beneath the mask to reveal the wild and delicate monster that was Alfred Jarry. We thus have the trajectory of a man determined to invent and destroy himself and the world around him by means of a philosophy erected on the principle of the identity of opposites, the linchpin of Jarry’s entire universe and fulcrum of a still incredibly vital body of work capable of encompassing both the clowning of Ubu and the subtleties of pataphysics.
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Alfred Jarry

Una vita patafisica

Alastair Brotchie

pages: 448 pages

On his death at the age of just 34, Alfred Jarry (Laval, 1873 – Paris, 1907) was already a legend in the Parisian salons, albeit more for his irreverent anti-conventionalism than his literary genius. It was not until decades later that he was recognized as one of the fathers of the avant-garde and Ubu Roi became the emblem of radically modern the

Quaderni del collezionismo 4

pages: 76

Fourth volume of the serie "Quaderni del collezionismo" edited by Pinacotaca Agnelli and published in co-edition with Johan & Levi editore.
Joachim Schmid e le fotografie degli altri
Joachim Schmidt (Balingen, 1955), paradoxically known as “the photographer who takes no photographs”, has worked with photography since the early 1980s without producing any images of his own. Asserted in 1989 on the 150th anniversary of the invention of this medium, the principle of taking no new photographs until use has been made of those already existing is one to which he still adheres. In the present-day civilization of images characterized by an ever-greater proliferation of photographs to the point of habituation and meaninglessness, Schmidt has decided to halt production and confine himself to seeking out, collecting and using photographs already taken by others. This boundless material also include picture cards, exhibition invitations, posters, postcards, photos found in flea markets and archives, and images downloaded from websites and social networks. The German artist captures them from the great flow of contemporary communication, files them, appropriates them, combines them with one another and sometimes manipulates them in search of possible new meanings. A collector, recycling enthusiast, cataloguer and environmentalist therefore rather than a photographer, Schmid has left his imprint on theoretical debate about this medium. His stance combines two fundamental themes of contemporary art, namely Duchamp’s idea of the ready-made and the “death of the author” envisaged by Roland Barthes. Having investigated all the forms of mass photography and all of the different associated languages, He has probably seen but above all used more images than anyone else in the world over the last few decades. His new and ironic call today is therefore for people not to stop taking photographs.
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Joachim Schmid e le fotografie degli altri

pages: 88 pages

Joachim Schmidt (Balingen, 1955), paradoxically known as “the photographer who takes no photographs”, has worked with photography since the early 1980s without producing any images of his own. Asserted in 1989 on the 150th anniversary of the invention of this medium, the principle of taking no new photographs until use has been made of those al

Lartigue

L'album di una vita 1894 - 1986

pages: 400 pages

Jacques Henri Lartigue (Courbevoie, 1894 – Nice, 1986) had his first camera at just eight years of age and from then on never ceased to take pictures of a gay and carefree life: children’s games, picnics, elegant ladies in the Bois de Boulogne, trips with friends, car races and the first aeroplanes. The albums built up over a lifetime are a met

Programmare l’arte

Olivetti e le neoavanguardie cinetiche

Marco Meneguzzo, Enrico Morteo, Alberto Saibene

pages: 184 pages

The exhibition of “Programmed Art” was inaugurated in the Olivetti Store in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan, on 15 May 1962. The name Arte Programmata was coined by Bruno Munari, who launched the initiative, and Umberto Eco, the theorist of kinetic art as a paradigm of the “open work”, was responsible for the catalogue. The young and
Hitler e il potere dell’estetica
Countless books have been written on Adolf Hitler. When CBS announced its intention of producing a film on his youth years ago, the almost unanimous chorus of protest that ensued can be summarised as saying: “We know who he was and what he did. What else is there to know?” Frederic Spotts offers an completely unprecedented view of Hitler and the Third Reich in a surprising examination of the Führer’s aims and huge machinery he built up around him. The key role of culture in his vision of the Arian super state has seldom been addressed. It was not the end to which power should aspire but a means to obtain it. From the spectacular mass rallies in Nuremberg to the imposing architectural works, from the musical festivals and his tormented relationship with Wagner to the policies of cleansing, from his own watercolours to the dream of opening an enormous art gallery in Linz: the artist manqué thus succeeded in expressing his talent by mesmerizing Germany and most of Europe. The only enemy that Hitler would not have imprisoned once the fighting was over but “left living comfortably in a fortress with permission to write his memoirs and paint” was Winston Churchill, the British officer who painted the ruins of a village during the Great War while Hitler immortalized a church on the other side of the river. Carl Burckhardt, the commissioner of the League of Nations in Danzig, who met the Führer twice in 1939 was therefore probably right to suggest that the dictator had a split personality: “the rather gentle artist” on the one hand and “the homicidal maniac” on the other. For obvious reasons, writers have concentrated on the homicidal maniac for over fifty years now. While in no way wishing to ignore the second Hitler, Spotts addresses the first.
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Hitler e il potere dell’estetica

Frederic Spotts

pages: 480 pages

Countless books have been written on Adolf Hitler. When CBS announced its intention of producing a film on his youth years ago, the almost unanimous chorus of protest that ensued can be summarised as saying: “We know who he was and what he did. What else is there to know?” Frederic Spotts offers an completely unprecedented view of Hitler and t

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