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Catalog

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
Robert Mapplethorpe
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
Mezzo secolo di arte intera
If we know what we know about the extraordinary art revolution of the second half of the sixties, about Arte Povera, Conceptural Art, Process Art and Land Art; if we now see in Boetti, Pistoletto and Zorio some of the most important exponents of their generation; if we know what Lucio Fontana’s last comments were or we have read about recently discovered figures such as the ones by Agnetti, Baruchello, Dadamaino, Mulas and Griffa, it is also thanks to the news reports, the reviews, the essays, and the publishing and teaching work of Tommaso Trini (Sanremo, 1937). This anthology fills a gap that has long needed to be filled and contributes to drawing up a more accurate map of the panorama of Italian art criticism, leaving aside tired polarized ways of thinking.  Through painstaking research and discussion carried out by Luca Cerizza in conversation with the author, the book brings together for the first time a selection of Trini’s art criticism: from pioneering texts dedicated to the future protagonists of Arte Povera, to the series of in-depth descriptions of other key figures in the post-war years, as well as newspaper reports and analyses – some of the earliest international ones – that define in real time the characteristics of the post-minimalist art movements that shook up the second half of the sixties. Trini is revealed here to be a keen-eyed witness and a perceptive interpreter of much of the best art in this half-century. This book gives art lovers (but also the general reader) sparkling well-paced criticism written with intelligence, where the “militant” stance never strays into sectarian or ideological positions.
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Mezzo secolo di arte intera

Scritti 1964-2014

Tommaso Trini

pages: 356 pages

If we know what we know about the extraordinary art revolution of the second half of the sixties, about Arte Povera, Conceptural Art, Process Art and Land Art; if we now see in Boetti, Pistoletto and Zorio some of the most important exponents of their generation; if we know what Lucio Fontana’s last comments were or we have read about recently di
Sei lezioni di disegno
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
Umberto Boccioni
Champion of a violently revolutionary art, Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916), painter and sculptor, is, jointly with Marinetti, the greatest exponent of Futurism and the first in his circle to have tapped into the new sensibility ushered in with the century of the machine and technology. It is no accident that Apollinaire immediately saw in him the theoretician of the group, the one who was to distil in the celebrated “striding figure” his investigation of an almost metaphysical dynamism of Aristotelian origin. Boccioni had a quick intellect and singular way of thinking, which ranged over every field. He had the characteristics of genius, he absorbed and processed his reading and experiences, remaking them in extraordinary inventions that fixed the principles of a new aesthetic. Although he followed in Balla’s wake during his apprenticeship in Rome, he was, however, the one to draw the maestro into the adventure that was the Futurist painters’ manifesto in 1910, to which Carrà, Severini and Russolo were signatories. They were a lively bunch with the poet Marinetti in the role of leader who missed no opportunity to launch his companions on the path to international fame, achieved in February 1912 with the first Futurist exhibition in avant-garde Paris. This was an event Boccioni had longed for more than anything and it brought all his expectations into focus. This was followed by London, Brussels and Berlin, before going back to the Italian tour of Futurist shows, where the young artist was to give further proof of his magnetic personality and keen intelligence. These qualities also had their effect on women, some of whom were well known, such as the art critic Margherita Sarfatti, the writer Sibilla Aleramo and Princess Vittoria Colonna Caetani, his final desperate passion. But prior to them was Ines, the woman immortalized in many portraits, a continuous thread running through Boccioni’s very brief existence. He signed up as a volunteer for the Great War, and died at the age of 34 when he was thrown from his horse. He left behind a mystery regarding his legacy – revealed in these pages – and a great heritage for the future of art.
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Umberto Boccioni

L’artista che sfidò il futuro

Gino Agnese

pages: 400 pages

Champion of a violently revolutionary art, Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916), painter and sculptor, is, jointly with Marinetti, the greatest exponent of Futurism and the first in his circle to have tapped into the new sensibility ushered in with the century of the machine and technology. It is no accident that Apollinaire immediately saw in him the theo
Carlo Scarpa. L'arte di esporre
The name of Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) is intrinsically linked to the history of art, taste and museology of the 20th century, so much so that in the seventies the French art historian André Chastel wrote: “Many of those who travel round Italy know him without realizing it: he is the greatest organizer of art exhibitions in Europe”. He still stands tall in the pantheon of those who revolutionized museums in the post-war years (in spite of widespread resistance and provincialism) transforming them into outposts of the avant-garde. The resounding success of the installation created to host the work of Paul Klee at the Venice Biennale in 1948 was followed by many others in quick succession. The personal exhibitions of Piet Mondrian and Marcel Duchamp, the collaborations with Lucio Fontana and Arturo Martini and his work on many historic buildings trace the development of an original architect who up-dated the way art was displayed by setting out a model that takes bold liberties to incomparable lyrical effect. It becomes unfettered from the lofty grandeur of the pre-existing places, fostering a style that is light and spare. His career was a series of legendary solutions resolved in situ (always in tandem with time constraints and a great lack of resources) in symbiosis with the mastery of the craftspeople around him. How to find one’s way around the huge number of exhibitions and museums for which Carlo Scarpa was wholly or partially responsible? Philippe Duboÿ, who worked with him and had access to many archives, is the ideal guide to help us understand the plans, reliefs, sketches, and photographs relating to every one of Scarpa’s projects.  Rare documents written by Carlo Scarpa have been included in the book, which has been conceived according to the principle of synchronism between image and word, which so interested Le Corbusier. The author reveals the personal dialogue between this great figure of European culture and the work of art.
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Carlo Scarpa. L'arte di esporre

L'arte di esporre

Philippe Duboÿ

pages: 268 pages

The name of Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) is intrinsically linked to the history of art, taste and museology of the 20th century, so much so that in the seventies the French art historian André Chastel wrote: “Many of those who travel round Italy know him without realizing it: he is the greatest organizer of art exhibitions in Europe”. He still sta

Petala aurea

Gold Sheet-work of Byzantine and Lombard Origin from the Rovati Collection

Caterina Giostra, Marco Sannazaro

pages: 240 pages

Petala aurea(gold petals) is the term used in early medieval treatises for the thin sheets of gold leaf or bracteae used in jewellery. The book presents the 47 items of gold leaf, with some exceptions in silver alloy, owned by the Rovati family of Monza, industrialists and art collectors. Exhibited for the first time in Monza in the chapel of the V
Cacciatori d’arte
Visionaries, businessmen and daring adventurers who are mad about art and childishly keen on taking risks. The most intrepid dealers have always been obsessed with running to ground the Van Goghs of tomorrow. It drives them to tramp unfamiliar streets, rounding up studies and betting everything on painters who are either misunderstood or ahead of their times. In recent years, however, the forgery swindle that ruined Knoedler, one of the most respectable New York galleries, has revealed something rotten in a profession that could soon degenerate into vulgar speculation. Yann Kerlau recounts the meteoric rise and the vicissitudes of some of the most famous art hunters from the 19th century to the present day: from the first ardent supporter of the Impressionists, Théodore Duret, who championed Japonisme, to which Gauguin, Van Gogh and Monet were so indebted, to Paul Durand-Ruel, who opened the doors of the American market to the Refusés; from a first-class sales strategist such as the indolent Ambroise Vollard, to the wily Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who became Picasso’s dealer in spite of an unpromising start, and Peggy Guggenheim, the eccentric American heiress who tracked down the most avant-garde artists for her New York gallery with the help of first-rate advisers. He brings us up to the present day with a worn-out advertising executive, Charles Saatchi, who rose to the Olympian heights of art by turning the artist into a trademark, and a cynical self-made man, Larry Gagosian, who took the best in his stable to conquer a multinational empire, keeping one eye on his bank account and the other on the auction houses. Seven well-rounded portraits, each in his or her own way reflecting their own times. Seven variations on a trade which you need to have a nose for – not to find what is beautiful, but the rare jewel that is hidden in every work of art. A phenomenal feat in which the excesses, passions and folly of the protagonists give the account a heroic and romantic dimension.
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Cacciatori d’arte

I mercanti di ieri e di oggi

Yann Kerlau

pages: 250 pages

Visionaries, businessmen and daring adventurers who are mad about art and childishly keen on taking risks. The most intrepid dealers have always been obsessed with running to ground the Van Goghs of tomorrow. It drives them to tramp unfamiliar streets, rounding up studies and betting everything on painters who are either misunderstood or ahead of t
I primitivi traditi
What are we speaking of when we speak of “primitive art”? What parameters do we use to define and evaluate works that have been captured, like African objects during the slave trade years, wrested from their original socio-cultural context and transplanted in strange lands where they appear in new contexts in order to satisfy the economic, ideological and cultural demands of an educated elite? Sally Price draws on an extraordinary variety of sources, including fashion advertising, cinema, anthropology and comics, to lead us in an investigation of tribal art and the misunderstandings that plague it in the West, whose “civilized” observers view distant cultures through a dense web of preconceptions and convictions that such products are the fruit of irrational urges, supported by religious rites and social dynamics utterly unlike their own. The long-standing opposition between an ethnographic object and a work of art – along with that between primitive and civilized – is consigned to history as the author sheds light upon the darkness obscuring primitive artists. In the end, she succeeds in invalidating the common belief that such primitive artists operate anonymously while the cult of individual expression is the exclusive prerogative of “our” artists. This mistaken presumption has contributed to an acceptance of the dehumanization of primitive art, that is, the refusal to acknowledge the intellectual environment in which these objects are created. Through interviews with museum curators, ethnologists and private collectors, bolstered by rewarding incursions into the world of art dealers, Price seeks to definitively demolish the framework of traditional anthropology and its paradigms of interpretation. According to the author, these paradigms form the bedrock of the persistent incomprehension of tribal creations and the long failure to adequately describe these societies and their cultural patrimony.
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I primitivi traditi

L'arte dei "selvaggi" e la presunzione occidentale

Sally Price

pages: 192 pages

What are we speaking of when we speak of “primitive art”? What parameters do we use to define and evaluate works that have been captured, like African objects during the slave trade years, wrested from their original socio-cultural context and transplanted in strange lands where they appear in new contexts in order to satisfy the economic, ideo
L'arte non evolve
Devoid of ascertainable origins, freed from the sequentiality of a before and after, the work of art demolishes the barriers of time and projects us into a space extraneous to progress. That art does not evolve, that is, it does not proceed by means of a linear temporal development but is instead capable of introducing new ideas not even hinted at before, is the thesis of this essay on the poetics of immortality in Gino De Dominicis. It is an investigation of a mystery – creation ex nihilo – and a meditation on the origin of all things. Guercio’s starting point is the artist’s most emblematic and controversial work, Second solution of immortality: the universe is immobile, exhibited in 1972 at the Venice Biennale in a room that is the summation of De Dominicis’ reflections and caused such a sensation that it was immediately closed to the public. The reason for the scandal was the presence of a young Venetian man with Down’s syndrome. Positioned facing three objects on the floor – a stone, a rubber ball and the outline of a white square – Paolo Rosa was not merely a provocation as the most reactionary thought, but the fulcrum around which the other elements are arranged, the key to the whole grouping. The multiple dynamics created by this figure allowed the artist to endow the work with an unprecedented power: to open a breach in eternity. Is it possible to read into De Dominicis’ Second Solution a paradigm of immortality that functions outside the closed system of his work? That is, can we establish a link between artistic creation in its broader sense and the search for immortality? This question, posed at the opening of the essay, engages the reader, drawing us into a complete examination of the artist’s themes, pointing up the ones that can support a presumption of contemporaneity over the present period, such as the primacy of the image over the word and the power of discontinuity when faced with a viral proliferation of connections.
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L'arte non evolve

L'universo immobile di Gino De Dominicis

Gabriele Guercio

pages: 128 pages

Devoid of ascertainable origins, freed from the sequentiality of a before and after, the work of art demolishes the barriers of time and projects us into a space extraneous to progress. That art does not evolve, that is, it does not proceed by means of a linear temporal development but is instead capable of introducing new ideas not even hinted at
L'arte nello spazio urbano
The term Public art is a term that refers to a wide range of experiences, including political or playful operations, ephemeral projects to transform places and landscapes, participatory actions, small everyday activities brought out into the open, and forms of active exploration of a given area. But what has been Italy’s experience with this artistic practice? Italian artists have followed many distinct paths, in their reinvention of the relationship between space and the public within the urban dimension. Alessandra Pioselli, with her unique critical and expressive experience, chooses to begin in 1968, setting public art against the background of the political and economic context of Italy at the time. Artists came into the city streets, challenging and lampooning authorities, highlighting social problems and giving voice to an insistent collective energy. Given their focus on the struggle for jobs and housing, their work appeared in outlying but critical areas, often in the form of militant acts or alternative interpretations of the concept of cultural assets. Then, through the 70s, the proactive role of Enrico Crispolti, Riccardo Dalisi, Ugo La Pietra, and others counterpointed groups like Collettivo Autonomo di Porta Ticinese and Laboratorio di Comunicazione Militante in Milan, which addressed the issue of protest and militancy in a non-authorial manner. As a result, environmental sculpture multiplied and gained a renewed civic function. With the waning of popular participation in the 80s, the front crumbled and differentiated. Art parks began to appear; works increasingly were set in highly problematic contexts and dealt with collective memory in increasingly emotional and subjective ways. Gestures, signs and relations assumed a symbolic, semantic value. While Maria Lai orchestrated poetic yet effective collective actions in her native Sardinia, Maurizio Cattelan playfully used intelligent provocation to expose the contradictions of an increasingly complex multi-cultural society. Today, new patrons and players acting in the context of a gentrified city hard put to recognize itself as a community call for a critical reinterpretation of the concept of participation, which is at the heart of this book.
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L'arte nello spazio urbano

L'esperienza italiana dal 1968 a oggi

Alessandra Pioselli

pages: 220 pages

The term Public art is a term that refers to a wide range of experiences, including political or playful operations, ephemeral projects to transform places and landscapes, participatory actions, small everyday activities brought out into the open, and forms of active exploration of a given area. But what has been Italy’s experience with this arti
Jackson Pollock
In the spring of 1955, when the young B.H. Friedman met Jackson Pollock for the first time, he was already an “old master” of Abstract Expressionism. With his powerful physique and explosive talent, Pollock had gained international fame through a body of work that encompassed a vast range of expression, from delicate lyricism to fierce, violent imagery. Recently extolled by Life magazine as the greatest painter in America, he was revered every night at Cedar Tavern by a throng of young artists who elbowed their way through to get nearer to the great painter. For them, Jackson was the one who had broken the ice, clearing the way for the first radically American generation. On the other hand, for the regulars of the legendary Greenwich Village meeting place, Pollock was no more than a picturesque character known for his disturbing metamorphoses: in the grip of alcohol, his voice grew hoarse, his vocabulary more vulgar, his gestures more aggressive and his expression clouded, all culminating the inevitable outbreak of a fight. This book, which grew out of a friendship begun in Pollock’s last year of life, follows the artist’s brief trajectory with extraordinary vividness, without glossing over the moments of greatest suffering: the struggles of Pollock’s formative years, his use of alcohol to calm his soul, and his first academic works created under the supervision of Thomas H. Benton. Eventually, with the discovery of “dripping”, his own very personal language, he attained the peak of success, not least thanks to the courage of gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim and the unconditional support of his wife Lee Krasner, who remained beside him until the last months before his tragic death. Friedman penetrates the silence and solitude of Pollock’s studio. He examines the artist’s tormented relationship with fame and his belief that he had sold his identity to an art world that rarely understood him and carried him to dizzying heights from which one rarely returns unharmed. The result is a biography that offers a consummate, insightful analysis of the glorious ascent and ruinous fall of the artist who “danced” masterpieces such as Autumn Rhythm into being – an artist who staked everything on his interpretation of art as the discovery of oneself, firmly convinced that a man’s life and his work are inseparable.
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Jackson Pollock

Energia resa visibile

B.H. Friedman

pages: 308 pages

In the spring of 1955, when the young B.H. Friedman met Jackson Pollock for the first time, he was already an “old master” of Abstract Expressionism. With his powerful physique and explosive talent, Pollock had gained international fame through a body of work that encompassed a vast range of expression, from delicate lyricism to fierce, violent

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