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Alberto Giacometti - Biografia
“He smiles and all the wrinkled skin of his face smiles, too. In a strange way. It’s not only his eyes that laugh, so does his forehead.  His whole person has the grey colouring of his studio. Perhaps in sympathy he has taken on the colour of the dust.” With these words, Jean Genet – one of his favourite models – described Alberto Giacometti, the sculptor whose indomitable character was sculpted onto his face by his troubled years and obsessive work. Besides, the activity in the studio on rue Hippolyte-Maindron was intense. Those who entered witnessed Giacometti working incessantly on his figures, relentlessly destroying and reconstructing them in a grueling pursuit of perfection, a tormented oscillation between an ideal to aspire to and aborted attempts, a back and forth of doubts and second thoughts. Just seconds ago he was laughing; now he turns to the sculpture-in-progress and, intoxicated by the contact of his hands with the mass of clay, completely ignores those around him. Born in 1901 in Borgonovo, Alberto spent his childhood in the rugged regions of Switzerland. His father initiated him into art at a very young age and followed his career step by step, providing encouragement and support. In 1922, Giacometti moved to Paris, where he began under the mentorship of Antoine Bourdelle and Zadkine but soon moved on – likewise briefly – to Breton’s Surrealism and Cubism. His rebellious spirit, which underlay all his explorations and rapid passage through the avant-garde movements, fated him to a solitary path on the fringes of the art world, despite his regular encounters with the most celebrated intellectuals of the time in the cafés of Montparnasse and the Latin Quarter. Under the spell of primitive art, he moved towards a more synthetic, disorienting representation, creating a host of figures forever advancing with an unsteady step, thanks to whom he achieved fame on the international art scene. “Never let myself be influenced by anything,” he wrote in a notebook. Indeed, Giacometti belongs to a timeless time, a quality of the most authentic essence of art.
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Alberto Giacometti

Biografia

Catherine Grenier

pages: 306 pages

“He smiles and all the wrinkled skin of his face smiles, too. In a strange way. It’s not only his eyes that laugh, so does his forehead.  His whole person has the grey colouring of his studio. Perhaps in sympathy he has taken on the colour of the dust.” With these words, Jean Genet – one of his favourite models – described Alberto Giacom
Catastrofi d'arte - Storie di opere che hanno diviso il Novecento
The history of art, as Benjamin wrote, is a history of prophecies. Certain works of art can only be understood when the circumstances that they anticipated have matured. The century of the avant-garde movements was teeming with subversive enterprises, but there are some whose telluric power jolted modernity forever, creating a new paradigm to fill in the cracks. In fact, the seed of the contemporary first took root in one precise moment: the exhibition of Duchamp’s Fountain. The artist had bought a typical urinal in a plumbing supply shop in New York and sent it to the Society of Independent Artists exhibit in 1917, paying six dollars for the privilege to exhibit. The radical break was visible to all: indeed, the very nature of art was being brought into question. After this “alien spore” of non-art, the movement mushroomed through the continuous and systematic transgression of the limits of art. Exploring – to use Arthur Danto’s term – the art world of the dramatic catastrophes of the 20th century, this book recounts the stories behind revolutionary works, inseparable from the personalities and ideas of their authors, precariously balanced between provocation and prophecy. We learn, for instance, that the disconcerting rigour of Cage’s 4'33' of silence has everything to do with the emphasis on the conceptual and the obliteration of the boundary between art and life; that the impetuous Klein’s experiments with the void and Manzoni’s acerbic paradoxical works inaugurate the practice of constructing the myth of the artist, which becomes a work of art in and of itself, and that Warhol’s iconic Brillo Box upends the modernist hierarchies, spectacularly manifesting the cultural turning point that would come to be known as the postmodern. Luigi Bonfante reveals the importance of a retroactive vision able to recognize the most relevant characteristics of the contemporary in these fractures while simultaneously interpreting the ambiguity of the present, without being seduced by the unsolvable question dominating today’s aesthetic: Are we on the brink of an apocalypse or a regeneration?
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Catastrofi d'arte

Storie di opere che hanno diviso il Novecento

Luigi Bonfante

pages: 184 pages

The history of art, as Benjamin wrote, is a history of prophecies. Certain works of art can only be understood when the circumstances that they anticipated have matured. The century of the avant-garde movements was teeming with subversive enterprises, but there are some whose telluric power jolted modernity forever, creating a new paradigm to fill
One day we must meet - Le sfide dell’arte e dell’architettura italiane in America (1933-1941)
October 1937. As a fruitful conversation at the White House between President Roosevelt and Vittorio Mussolini was drawing to a close, the former expressed the hope that he would meet Vittorio’s father: “One day we must meet”. These were encouraging words for Mussolini’s son, dazzled by the American way of life and there to represent the younger modernist spirit of Fascism.  At the time, the “great country” was becoming ever more frequently a key mediator at the centre of the dense network that was parallel diplomacy. Modern art and architecture were used persistently and pervasively by the Fascist government as cultural ambassadors to create myths that would seduce the masses and win over public opinion. It was a practice that created opportunities and tangible results: on one hand, the imposing national pavilions built for the iconic 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, on the other, the great exhibitions of contemporary art – Casorati, Sironi, Levi, Carrà and de Chirico, among others – alongside the celebrated old masters, whose artworks were sent on daring transatlantic journeys thanks to the enterprising spirit of the likes of Dario Sabatello, Mimì Pecci Blunt and Giulio Carlo Argan.Sergio Cortesini focusses appropriately on the re-evocation of place and on the lively cultural climate of the period. He draws on hundreds of previously unpublished documents to look back at the course of Italian modern art in America between 1933 and 1941. From the early successes he goes on to describe the steady deterioration in political relations up to the final tragic moment when Italy entered the war. This event marked the end of all illusions of grandeur: the pavilions were demolished and the artwork was put into storage. For those who sincerely believed in an Italianismo that could be expressed through the forms of modern aesthetics and the renewed communicative power of national art, Roosevelt’s words were destined to be lost in translation.
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One day we must meet

Le sfide dell’arte e dell’architettura italiane in America (1933-1941)

Sergio Cortesini

pages: 325 pages

October 1937. As a fruitful conversation at the White House between President Roosevelt and Vittorio Mussolini was drawing to a close, the former expressed the hope that he would meet Vittorio’s father: “One day we must meet”. These were encouraging words for Mussolini’s son, dazzled by the American way of life and there to represent the yo
Il viaggio della Chimera - Gli Etruschi a Milano tra archeologia e collezionismo
The exhibition “Il viaggio della Chimera. Gli Etruschi a Milano tra archeologia e collezionismo” (12 December 2018-12 May 2019), at the Civico Museo Archeologico in Milan, conceived and organized by the Fondazione Luigi Rovati and the Civico Museo Archeologico in collaboration with the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Milan, highlights the connections between Milan and the Etruscan world, which started to emerge in the mid-18th century with the creation of the oldest part of the Milanese archaeological collections and was cemented in the post-war years when the city hosted a major exhibition of Etruscan art and civilization, curated by Massimo Pallottini at the Palazzo Royale in 1955. This watershed moment marked the start of a fruitful period for Etruscology in Milan from the surveys by the Fondazione C.M. Lerici at the Politecnico to the campaigns carried out by the University of Milan in Tarquinia and in Etruria at Forcello di Bagnolo San Vito.  Exploration of the connections between Milan and the Etruscans continues to bear fruit as borne out by the recent excavations carried out in Populonia by the Università Cattolica and the forthcoming opening of the Etruscan Museum at 52, Corso Venezia. The exhibition is arranged over five sections with more than 200 items from leading archaeological museums in Italy, including the Civico Museo Archeologico in Milan and the Fondazione Luigi Rovati itself, offering a preview of some of the items that will form the collection in the new Etruscan museum. The catalogue is also divided into five sections. The section on collecting and collectors draws on the Etruscan collections of the Museo Civico Archeologico, the Fondazione Rovati and the Milanese historic core collection comprising the findings of Pelagio Palagi, Amilcare Ancona and Jules Sambon. The focus then shifts to the 1955 exhibition at the Palazzo Reale on Etruscan art and civilization and so to the excavations supported by the Fondazione C.M. Lerici at the Politecnico di Milano and the Milanese universities in Etruria, Campania and Etruria Padana, where many inscriptions have been found providing evidence of an Etruscan presence north of the Po. Three themes are examined in more depth: canopic urns and the representation of the human figure; the orientalizing fantastic bestiary; and myth. They offer a transversal interpretation of the exhibits and introduce the section with detailed descriptions of the objects on show. 
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Il viaggio della Chimera

Gli Etruschi a Milano tra archeologia e collezionismo

pages: 360 pages

The exhibition “Il viaggio della Chimera. Gli Etruschi a Milano tra archeologia e collezionismo” (12 December 2018-12 May 2019), at the Civico Museo Archeologico in Milan, conceived and organized by the Fondazione Luigi Rovati and the Civico Museo Archeologico in collaboration with the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of
Dark Side of the Boom - Controversie, intrighi, scandali nel mercato dell'arte
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 an artwork. This concentration has had many repercussions: artists are branded like merchandise; art is increasingly treated as a 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
L'altra Italia - Racconto per immagini delle aree interne del paese
L’altra Italia is a visual account of the inland areas of Italy, from the Alps down the length of the Appenines as far as the islands. It documents a vulnerable landscape, at the margins of the large metropolitan conurbations with their infrastructure, services and high-speed internet connections. This is the Italy of villages and small towns where over 4,000 municipalities represent 60% of the geographical area and 25% of the population of Italy. An ancient, visceral, essential landscape, it is as far from the tourist routes of the glossy magazines as it is close to an elemental dimension. What these areas have in common is that they are affected by the same process of depopulation and impoverishment of the economic fabric, and yet they are rich in resources, trustees of an inestimable natural and cultural heritage, with characteristics that make Italy stand out from the urban fabric of Europe as a whole.   The book started out as a survey for Arcipelago Italia, the exhibition project conceived by Mario Cucinella for the Italian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. With documentary accuracy that goes beyond straightforward representation, to observe the changes in the territory and the ongoing developments taking place, these images of the landscape follow in the tradition of Pasolini, mapping out a humanistic geography that re-evaluates personal experience and everyday life from different points of view: sustainability and the environment, social inclusion and the sharing of intangible assets, earthquakes and the collective memory, work and health, regeneration and contemporary creativity. Despite their different approaches, the architect-photographers of the Urban Reports collective square up to the landscape without any sensationalism: their photography captures the spirit of these places, the centuries-old stratifications, the nuances and the details; it captures the intersections of meaning beneath the visible and material aspects. There are five main destinations: the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Appenines and the Casentinesi Forests National Park; Camerino, the crater and the area of central Italy hit by the earthquake in 2016; the Basento Valley near Matera; the Belice Valley,  Gibellina in particular, in the province of Trapani in western Sicily; Barbagia and the Ottana Plain in the central region of Sardinia that extends along the sides of the Gennargentu Massif. The work of Urban Reports reveals a much richer and more multi-faceted world than the official one of the country, one where the principal resource of a territory is its people, their knowledge and their skills. It calls for a commitment from architects, town planners, designers and local administrators to develop plans to relaunch the economy, revitalize the existing social fabric, interact with and nurture positive dynamics among the local communities in these areas. The photographs are accompanied by texts by Marco Belpoliti. This book is the result of a photographic campaign by the Urban Reports collective for Arcipelago Italia, Mario Cucinella’s curatorial project for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, supported by the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Suburbs of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage Activities and Tourism.Texts by Marco Bertoliti
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L'altra Italia

Racconto per immagini delle aree interne del paese

Urban Reports

pages: 168 pages

L’altra Italia is a visual account of the inland areas of Italy, from the Alps down the length of the Appenines as far as the islands. It documents a vulnerable landscape, at the margins of the large metropolitan conurbations with their infrastructure, services and high-speed internet connections. This is the Italy of villages and small towns whe
Automitobiografia
Marcel and Suzanne Duchamp, Octavio Paz and Edoardo Sanguineti, Breton and Man Ray, de Chirico and the Duchess of Beaufort are just some of the names that make up the fauna of this perceptive, erudite and, at times, explosive account, far removed from any autobiographical conventions.  Working backwards from 1983, the year of publication, to 1924, the year the author was born, Automitobiografia is a kind of hyperbolic journey back along the flow of events. From the first pages it immerses us in the contemporary visual culture and seems to be a response to the trends in “high” art and citationality at that time. Baj was only too familiar with such experiences, in that, since the 1960s, he had been a skilled creator of playful versions of the works of the grand masters, as in the Chez Picasso series or compositions such as La cravatta di Jackson Pollock and the Vendetta della Gioconda. This also led him in his later work to collect – alongside a repertory of icons, themes and styles from the past – a gaudy arsenal of bric-a-brac, medals, braids and trimmings, sequins, fragments of damask, rosettes and all kinds of stuff that filled his studio. This constant reclamation and accumulation is translated at narrative level into a great assemblage of memories, reflections and citations borrowed from artists and intellectuals of every period and origin, first and foremost his brilliant mentor Alfred Jarry and pataphysics, the true “science” and mainstay of the irony that permeated Baj’s entire cultural universe. Alongside the myriad characters we also get glimpses of the everyday objects in the artist’s life such as agricultural machinery, a Kawasaki bike or a lift: splendid equipment, mechanical and erotic, that not only arouses the reader’s curiosity but also backs up the social, scientific and philosophical convictions sustained by Baj, who for years fought not only for a renewal in the art of painting but also for a prophetic return to nature against the growing threat of an all-encompassing technology.
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Automitobiografia

Enrico Baj

pages: 272 pages + 12 (inserto)

Marcel and Suzanne Duchamp, Octavio Paz and Edoardo Sanguineti, Breton and Man Ray, de Chirico and the Duchess of Beaufort are just some of the names that make up the fauna of this perceptive, erudite and, at times, explosive account, far removed from any autobiographical conventions.  Working backwards from 1983, the year of publication, to 1924,

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:
L'ombra lunga degli etruschi - Echi e suggestioni nell'arte del Novecento
The legend of the Etruscans has stood the test of time over centuries. Since the 15th century, when Leon Battista Alberti was one of the first to reassess the Tuscan order, to more recent years that saw the first major exhibitions, interest in this enigmatic civilization has never faltered. It has, however, been fed by such very different instances – depending on whether the point of view was that of academics or of artists and writers – that one can talk of two distinct Etrurias: a “scientific” one, which from the 19th century and with the important excavations of the early 20th century became ever more precisely and clearly defined, and an “evoked”, imagined Etruria, as fantastical as it was irretrievable.This is the Etruria of painters and sculptors: of Enrico Prampolini, who lent his avant-garde skills to a magazine on the subject; of Arturo Martini, Massimo Campigli and Marino Marini, who, each with their own accents, claimed direct descent; of artists apparently remote from this world, such as the French Edgar Degas and the English Henry Moore; and of figures that occupied what were considered marginal territory (e.g. ceramics) such as Gio Ponti and Roberto Sebastian Matta.Martina Corgnati takes the reader on a long well-structured journey from the end of the 19th century to the threshold of the 21st century, through hybridization and rewriting of the past, adopting more or less explicit suggestion and precise references. There are also forays into the literary debate, particularly lively in Italy, where a foundation myth more authentically italic in respect of Greek or Roman ones has always been fertile terrain. Through the prism of the “Etruscan phenomenon” one can see the art of the 20th century in a new light, exploring the various paths in the shadow of this ancient people.
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L'ombra lunga degli etruschi

Echi e suggestioni nell'arte del Novecento

Martina Corgnati

pages: 240 pages

The legend of the Etruscans has stood the test of time over centuries. Since the 15th century, when Leon Battista Alberti was one of the first to reassess the Tuscan order, to more recent years that saw the first major exhibitions, interest in this enigmatic civilization has never faltered. It has, however, been fed by such very different instances
La cornice - Storie, teorie, testi
At a time when historical avant-gardes are starting to question it deeply, the frame has become a subject of great interest to philosophers, art historians and semiologists. The quintessential amphibian device, a mediation tool that isolates the image from the real space, not being assimilated with either despite relating to both, the frame is a threshold: it leads us into a realm where other laws are in force compared to those of everyday life. The frame is called upon to prevent the painting from invading the world and vice versa, until we accept the idea of art as a reality that is separate from the one in which we live and breathe. However, 20th-century artistic practices deny this principle with great vehemence. A history of the frame has to include a reflection on the overcoming of its boundaries, necessarily leading us to examine how its role as a modest servant to the image has evolved over the centuries. As an outdated expedient, able to activate a force field and boost the centripetal direction of the gaze, a paradoxical fate awaits it. At the moment when it presumes to take on its own autonomous aesthetic value, it abdicates to its ancillary function, entering into competition with the work, sometimes even replacing it, going from a marginal object to the primary subject of the representation. The eclipse of this element paves the way for the establishment of another kind of frame: the museum as the favoured place for the institutionalization, certification and conservation of artistic value. Daniela Ferrari and Andrea Pinotti look back over the fundamental stages in the history of the frame and its crucial role in the experience of the pictorial image, featuring the main contributions to the phenomenology of this device in this volume: from Simmel to Stoichita, taking in Ortega y Gasset, Bloch, Schapiro, Derrida, Arnheim, Marin and the Groupe μ. The entire 20th century is represented here from different disciplinary perspectives, confirming the fact that this was the century in which the frame fully took on the explicit statute of theoretical object.
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La cornice

Storie, teorie, testi

pages: 232 pages

At a time when historical avant-gardes are starting to question it deeply, the frame has become a subject of great interest to philosophers, art historians and semiologists. The quintessential amphibian device, a mediation tool that isolates the image from the real space, not being assimilated with either despite relating to both, the frame is a th
Scienza delle immagini - Iconologia, cultura visuale ed estetica dei media
While the advent of the digital era and the rapid evolution of technology have led to major change in the coordinates of the visible world and the relationship between word and image, experience and representation, new research methods have become necessary to explore the reasons behind the increasingly extensive production and circulation of images. One of the founding fathers of this vast field of study that has established itself on an international level as visual culture, W.J.T. Mitchell has contributed to the great turnaround in theoretical interest in the “society of the spectacle” and, coining the expression “pictorial turn”, has promoted a philosophical approach since the 1990s that attributes images with the same value of interpreting reality as that attributed to language. Here the reader will find a collection of sixteen of his most recent essays, ranging from media aesthetics to semiotics, in which the author examines the cultural dimension of images and the places and ways in which they manifest themselves, drawing upon ideas and terms that have now earned their place in the critical vocabulary. With the successful distinction between “image” and “picture”, where “image” means the mental representation or pure form of figures, clearly distinguished from the “picture” through which it is revealed, that is to say a material object that can be burned, broken or ripped, such as a painting or sculpture. Rich in incursions into the history of art, cinema and photography, but also into politics and biocybernetics, this volume lays the foundations for a “science of images” in which the visual becomes a fundamental link between humanistic research and empirical sciences.
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Scienza delle immagini

Iconologia, cultura visuale ed estetica dei media

W.J.T. Mitchell

pages: 276 pages

While the advent of the digital era and the rapid evolution of technology have led to major change in the coordinates of the visible world and the relationship between word and image, experience and representation, new research methods have become necessary to explore the reasons behind the increasingly extensive production and circulation of image
Un posto per tutti - Vita, architettura e società giusta
This book is much more than just an autobiography. It is a jazz improvisation featuring a fusion of personal memoirs and ideas for a better society. It encompasses projects, drawings and photographs, partnerships and disputes. The author expresses his passion for big cities and public spaces, his love for his family and friends, his trust in education and active citizenship. However we want to read it, it makes us realize how architecture is a fundamental tool for tackling the two great challenges of our age: social inequality and climate change.Born in Florence in 1933, amidst the modernist structures designed by his cousin Ernesto Nathan Rogers and a view of Brunelleschi’s dome, Richard Rogers soon grasped that good architecture has to reflect changing technology and the spirit of the age. Consequently, having completed his studies at Yale – where he met his future partner Norman Foster – he embarked on a road trip in search of innovative ideas and design solutions: the strong colours of California and Mexico, the open structures of industrial architecture, and the lightness and transparencies of the Case Study Houses proved great sources of inspiration, becoming a constant feature in that visual vocabulary that he brought with him when he returned to London. Parkside, the Wimbledon home built for his parents between 1968 and 1969, was the first result of his American experience and encapsulates his entire architectural ethos: the daring use of colour and eco-sustainable prefabricated elements, the importance of transparency and flexibility. It was a prototype for a building that lends itself to multiple changes of use, embodying our “long-lasting, widely adaptable, low-energy” diktat. It was also his last family building project before he was swallowed up, together with Renzo Piano, in the whirlwind of the competition for a major public building in the heart of Paris.Today, more than forty years after the deluge of criticism that surrounded its construction and opening, the Pompidou Centre continues to be an undisputed icon of modernity and one of the pulsating hearts of city life, demonstrating that architecture has the power to shape our lives: good architecture brings humanity and civilization, bad architecture brutalizes.
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Un posto per tutti

Vita, architettura e società giusta

Richard Rogers

pages: 372 pages

This book is much more than just an autobiography. It is a jazz improvisation featuring a fusion of personal memoirs and ideas for a better society. It encompasses projects, drawings and photographs, partnerships and disputes. The author expresses his passion for big cities and public spaces, his love for his family and friends, his trust in educat

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