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Joseph Beuys
A fisherman’s vest over a white shirt, jeans and a felt hat. In the winter a long lynx fur lined with blue silk. In his youth a black tie with a hare’s jaw tiepin. This was how Joseph Beuys presented himself, an unmistakable look midway between clown and gangster. On making his appearance, he always did the opposite of what was expected, delighting in actions that initially seemed senseless: wrapping himself in felt, living with a coyote, scraping gelatin from a wall, holding the same position for hours, sweeping a forest, explaining paintings to a dead hare, bandaging a knife after cutting his finger. All this – and the fat that heals, the felt that warms, the honey that feeds and the batteries that recharge – in order to transmit energy and give the spectators a salutary shock, to broaden their awareness. Creativity is a “shaping” of freedom and the heritage of all. He urged us repeatedly to be constantly alert and make our own revolution: “Everyone is an artist.” Avoiding, with rare exceptions, the stereotyped judgements and interpretations put forward on one of the most controversial and repeatedly analyzed figures of the 20th century, Heiner Stachelhaus presents a portrait of Joseph Beuys in the round starting from the “anti-images” of his life: the study of natural sciences, involvement with Steiner’s anthroposophy, the aeroplane crash in the Crimea and the experience with Tartars, teaching and the occupation of the Düsseldorf Academy, the 7000 Oaks and the environmentalist battles, the Beuys of private life who drank tap water in glasses of ground crystal, and the Beuys Blockin Darmstadt, the museum-workshop still haunted by the spirit of man described by Karl Ströher as the only artist capable of expressing the specificity of our era.
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Joseph Beuys

Una vita di controimmagini

Heiner Stachelhaus

pages: 188 pages

A fisherman’s vest over a white shirt, jeans and a felt hat. In the winter a long lynx fur lined with blue silk. In his youth a black tie with a hare’s jaw tiepin. This was how Joseph Beuys presented himself, an unmistakable look midway between clown and gangster. On making his appearance, he always did the opposite of what was expected, deligh
Arte Programmata cinquant’anni dopo
A cinquant’anni dalla prima mostra di Arte Programmata (Milano, 1962), l’autore propone una riflessione su ciò che resta di un esperimento di neoavanguardia che ha tentato di coniugare  teoria della percezione e produzione industriale. Voluta da Bruno Munari, presentata da Umberto Eco, sponsorizzata dalla Olivetti, l’Arte Programmata non è solo un movimento italiano riconducibile al più vasto mondo dell’arte cinetica, ma un vero e proprio tentativo di definizione del campo dell’arte, ai tempi della società industriale e cittadina, che muove dal nuovissimo concetto – per allora – di “programmazione”, attorno a cui ruotava tutto il dibattito interno agli intellettuali vicini alla Olivetti, che proprio in quegli anni era all’avanguardia nel campo dei piccoli processori elettronici. Superato un lungo periodo di oblio e di silenzio, oggi l’Arte Programmata gode di nuovo favore, e di un rinnovato interesse critico, storico e di mercato: perché sta avvenendo ciò? Cosa rende ancora attuale quel movimento? Quale movimento di nostalgia e di “revival” riesce a innescare tutt’oggi? Un’agile riflessione che passa senza soluzione di continuità dagli anni Sessanta ad oggi che cerca di dare una risposta alle ragioni di questo successo, e contemporaneamente indaga sulle possibilità di un’utopia legata al concetto di “arte industriale”, mentre riflette su quella definizione di “arte”, il vero motivo che è riuscito a trascendere il mezzo secolo che ci separa dalla sua prima uscita.
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Arte Programmata cinquant’anni dopo

Marco Meneguzzo

pages: 76 pages

A cinquant’anni dalla prima mostra di Arte Programmata (Milano, 1962), l’autore propone una riflessione su ciò che resta di un esperimento di neoavanguardia che ha tentato di coniugare  teoria della percezione e produzione industriale. Voluta da Bruno Munari, presentata da Umberto Eco, sponsorizzata dalla Olivetti, l’Arte Programmata non è
I festival del cinema
Film festivals have played an important role in stimulating cultural growth in Italy since the inauguration of the Venetian prototype in 1932, offering the public an opportunity for contact with different and distant experiences. The proliferation of such events on national territory as from the 1980s has made them a key channel for development of the audiovisual market and the boosting of local economies, giving rise to marked competition between festivals and the strenuous pursuit of financing. In the present-day context of severely reduced public funding and a general cutback on private investment, the future of the film festival system is necessarily bound up with an understanding of the economic spinoffs involved and culture in general. How is such value to be measured? The study presented here develops a model, applicable also to other spheres, that highlights the ability of festivals to provide stimulus for the local economy by triggering virtuous processes of increased demand for goods and services in the areas involved. This in turn means a return on investment capable also of attracting private backers, whose decisions are inevitably linked to a return, directed or indirect but in any case evident and immediate. In order to complete the overview of the economic value of festivals, this time in more specific terms, attention is also focused on their technical role of the manifestations in the sector of film production and promotion, above all for independent films.
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I festival del cinema

Quando la cultura rende

pages: 132 pages

Film festivals have played an important role in stimulating cultural growth in Italy since the inauguration of the Venetian prototype in 1932, offering the public an opportunity for contact with different and distant experiences. The proliferation of such events on national territory as from the 1980s has made them a key channel for development of
Louvre, mon amour
Do you have to set the Louvre on fire to establish yourself as one of the masters of your time? In order to answer this provocative question, in the 1960s the art critic Pierre Schneider invited eleven celebrated artists of the day, including Giacometti, Miró, Chagall and Steinberg, to accompany him one at a time through the museum’s sumptuous rooms. None of them refused the invitation and the truth that emerged still holds today. Far from torturing artists, the Louvre casts a spell on them that does not fade over time. Neither discouraged nor uplifted but if anything beguiled by the abyss separating them from the giants that live there, artists alone are capable of addressing them and entering into a dialogue between equals. Schneider records their every comment and gesture, even their silences and alternating moods, outlining the direction of their thinking in a few lines. Then, at just the right moment, comes the insidious question. The answers, sometimes scathing and sometimes admiring but never deferential, reveal uncommon acumen and great intimacy also with artists of a very different mature. We thus find Chagall unforeseeably moved by Courbet (“a great poet”) and irritated with Ingres (“too polished”), Giacometti enamoured of the Tintoretto self-portrait (“the most magnificent head in the Louvre”), and Miró onomatopoeically entranced, whistling with admiration at African mosaics. The eye of each glides over the works to plumb their material depths, comment on their “chemistry” and finally decide how they have stood up over time. These fascinating walks are informed by a spirit of reconciliation between old and new that explodes any notion of the museum as a warehouse of obsolete objects with nothing to say to contemporaries. The Louvre appears to its eleven extraordinary guests as a book from which you learn to read, a gymnasium to build up your strength, a school to hone your vision, the ideal cemetery, a time machine that eliminates millennial gaps, a bridge between past and present and above all the place where it is possible to address the greatest things created since the beginning of time.
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Louvre, mon amour

Undici grandi artisti in visita al museo più famoso del mondo

Pierre Schneider

pages: 192 pages

Do you have to set the Louvre on fire to establish yourself as one of the masters of your time? In order to answer this provocative question, in the 1960s the art critic Pierre Schneider invited eleven celebrated artists of the day, including Giacometti, Miró, Chagall and Steinberg, to accompany him one at a time through the museum’s sumptuous r
La collezione come forma d’arte
If it can be said that every era has its own approach to collecting, the contemporary period is marked by a reciprocal bond with artistic practice, to the point that the two activities often overlap or even merge. Examples abound: from Joseph Cornell, who hunted down oddities to put in his mysterious boxes, to Claes Oldenburg, who exhibited a collection of sentimental items as a work in its own right; from Marcel Broodthaers, who was inspired by collecting to become an artist, to Hans-Peter Feldmann who, channelling Malraux, has long been cutting out, classifying and sticking images to create an unusual museum. Collecting is no longer just the preserve of non-artists accumulating large quantities of objects, but has become a means of expression for artists who gather things to construct works of art, inspired by Warburg’s notion of assemblage. From another point of view, collectors are artists who express themselves using images charged with symbolism that become an extension of their personas. As soon as the eye alights on them, the objects gain extra properties: stripped of their original function and knowingly combined, they interact in an organic whole that resists defacement. And thus the collection rises to the status of work of art. Eclectic, transversal and highly personal, these collections are poles apart from the closed, predestined world of museum collections. It is to this private, creative dimension that Elio Grazioli refers in his exploration of collecting, from the Wunderkammer to the collage and the assemblage: collecting not to serve a purpose, but to pursue a passion; a collection that is not a showcase but a game for aficionados who appreciate the unexpected. And this form of collecting is a practice that has much to teach the institutions, with its greater freedom and stonger urges.
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La collezione come forma d’arte

Elio Grazioli

pages: 128 pages

If it can be said that every era has its own approach to collecting, the contemporary period is marked by a reciprocal bond with artistic practice, to the point that the two activities often overlap or even merge. Examples abound: from Joseph Cornell, who hunted down oddities to put in his mysterious boxes, to Claes Oldenburg, who exhibited a colle

Mario Schifano

Una biografia

Luca Ronchi

pages: 416 pages

Mario Schifano (1934-1998) is the Italian exponent of Pop Art. His works of large format are characterised by monochrome and the use of commercial brands like Coca Cola and Esso. Backed by major Italian and international galleries (Plinio de Martiis and Ileana Sonnabend), along with the “cursed” painters set (including Franco Angeli and Tano Fe
Memorie di un mercante di quadri
Written in first person as anecdotes on his debut in the profession, the legendary art dealer’s memoirs conjure up the atmosphere of the now bygone world of Paris in the late 19th century, when the painters rejected by the Salon were gradually coming to the fore and the young Ambroise Vollard was taking his first steps. Having arrived in the capital to study law, he dropped out and began to haunt bookshops and markets, where he unearthed cheap prints and drawings that were to be his initial stock in trade. A ruthless businessman, he also had a priceless sense of which way the wind was blowing. He visited Manet’s widow and returned to home with an entire collection of the master’s drawings. He made friends with Renoir, Degas and above all Pissarro, who followed his advice. He looted the studios of Cézanne, Vlaminck, Derain and Picasso, and took a bold stance in the avant-garde market by exhibiting works by Van Gogh and Gauguin. His daring diversification, from painting to prints and books, also had an effect on the artists around him. Combining his longstanding passions for literature and graphic art, he became the publisher of deluxe art books illustrated by painters and exhibited together with paintings in the same shop on Rue Laffitte. The time was right for anyone with a gallery on the “street of paintings” and focal point for art dealers and collectors, where it was easy to run into artists like Matisse, Renoir, Degas, Redon, Apollinaire and Jarry. It was during unforgettable dinners often graced with such guests that Vollard used his keen ear to pick up every comment and capture the greatest artists of the age with extraordinary verve in vividly living dialogues and slices of life. While these are the true protagonists of his memoirs, those capable of reading between the lines will also form a precise image of Vollard himself, the picture dealer par excellence and unquestionably the most immortalized, as shown by the innumerable portraits executed by the painters of his entourage,some of which are reproduced in the book.  
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Memorie di un mercante di quadri

Ambroise Vollard

pages: 320 pages

Written in first person as anecdotes on his debut in the profession, the legendary art dealer’s memoirs conjure up the atmosphere of the now bygone world of Paris in the late 19th century, when the painters rejected by the Salon were gradually coming to the fore and the young Ambroise Vollard was taking his first steps. Having arrived in the ca
Breve storia della globalizzazione in arte
For at least a decade now, the Western art system has found itself faced in the international arena with new players who appear to want to play according to rules of their own making. The first inklings of change came in the 1980s, when art became a financial opportunity of global potential. Thanks to the use of more accessible languages, postmodern art appealed to increasingly vast audiences, prospering as it expanded onto new terrain: the soaring art market paved the way for the artwork becoming a status symbol, and a broadening of horizons to include countries like China, Russia and India, in search of recognition on the Western stage. The euphoria of that period, however, was soon dampened by the current climate of uncertainty, caused by the break-up of the old system and the declassing of its constituent parts – the intellectual component (the critics, who lent legitimacy to artistic practices) and the institutional component (the museums, which conserved the works for posterity). The current measure of success is the speculative spirit – in all senses – of the new players, who, with the ease of those used to wielding hefty amounts of capital, lay down the law in the closed circuit of gallery-collector-auction house-museum. Even artists, previously the system’s driving force, risk being reduced to the status of mere cogs in the machine. Well aware of the setting they operate in, they have acquiesced to the impoverishment brought about by globalisation: while in the past they sought to innovate, now they stick firmly to linguistic standards that are instantly recognisable in all corners of the globe. In this short work of global scope, which surveys the past in order to have insight into the complex transformations under way in the present, Marco Meneguzzo identifies the dividing line between before and after, namely between art as exclusive and elite and art as popular, globalised phenomenon, envisaging a future that wavers between a soft process of change in the art system and the conception of art itself, and a more apocalyptic scenario.
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Breve storia della globalizzazione in arte

(e delle sue conseguenze)

Marco Meneguzzo

pages: 176 pages

For at least a decade now, the Western art system has found itself faced in the international arena with new players who appear to want to play according to rules of their own making. The first inklings of change came in the 1980s, when art became a financial opportunity of global potential. Thanks to the use of more accessible languages, postmoder

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