27 Sep 2008
22 Mar 2009

ITALICS, ITALIAN ART BETWEEN TRADITION AND REVOLUTION, 1968-2008

Palazzo Grassi – Venice, Italy

Palazzo Grassi and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago will host the exhibition "Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968 - 2008", to take place at Palazzo Grassi in the fall of 2008, and curated by Francesco Bonami.

In covering a time span of over forty years, Italics will be one of the most important exhibitions dedicated to contemporary Italian art ever organized. More than 105 artists and more than 250 works will be presented not in a chronological order, but in a continuum of cross-references and quotations, creating a rich and complex dialogue between the different generations of artists.

Instead of observing Italian Art through its movements and groups, Italics intends to analyse contemporary art in Italy as a continuous flow where the past is constantly re-evoked by the more recent cultural currents and undermined by the revolutions of the various languages used by the artists exhibited.

Italics is a brave attempt at demonstrating that Italian art is much more and something deeply different from what has generally been brought to the forefront of the international art scene in the last thirty years. Italics will try to observe the Italian phenomenon from a new point of view, provocative and at times even polemical. Extremely influential figures like Fernando Melani and virtually unknown artists like Maria Lai will not fail to amaze the international public but also the Italian general public.

The exhibition intends to look into what could be defined the “Italian syndrome”, a non-linear pathway branching off in many directions that have often led Italian art astray.

1968 is a pivotal year. Many artists who are essential to the understanding of Italian art died that year: Lucio Fontana, whose architectural space presented at the 1968 Documenta 4, Kassel will be recreated in the exhibition, or Gastone Novelli, featured in Italics with the room dedicated to him in that same year, at the Venice Biennale. Pino Pascali, the enfant prodige of Arte Povera will be represented by “Vedova Blu” (Blue Widow), one of his last and rare sculptures. Works like the 1972 “I funerali di Togliatti“ (Togliatti’s Funeral) by Renato Guttuso will be exhibited vis-à-vis pieces like Alghiero Boetti’s 1987 sculpted self-portrait or Marisa Merz’s small fountain, emphasizing the tension between political dimension and private space that is at the heart of the poetics of many Italian artists.
Through a series of contrasts and symmetries, Italics will also include the latest generation of artists, ranging from Maurizio Cattelan , Vanessa Beecroft , Paola Pivi , Micol Assael and Roberto Cuoghi to emerging figures like Massimo Grimaldi and Enrico David.

Italics is a brave attempt at demonstrating that Italian art is much more and something deeply different from what has generally been brought to the forefront of the international art scene in the last thirty years. Italics will try to observe the Italian phenomenon from a new point of view, provocative and at times even polemical. Extremely influential figures like Fernando Melani and virtually unknown artists like Maria Lai will not fail to amaze the international public but also the Italian general public. The exhibition intends to look into what could be defined the “Italian syndrome”, a non-linear pathway branching off in many directions that have often led Italian art astray. 1968 is a pivotal year. Many artists who are essential to the understanding of Italian art died that year: Lucio Fontana, whose architectural space presented at the 1968 Documenta 4, Kassel will be recreated in the exhibition, or Gastone Novelli, featured in Italics with the room dedicated to him in that same year, at the Venice Biennale. Pino Pascali, the enfant prodige of Arte Povera will be represented by “Vedova Blu” (Blue Widow), one of his last and rare sculptures. Works like the 1972 “I funerali di Togliatti“ (Togliatti’s Funeral) by Renato Guttuso will be exhibited vis-à-vis pieces like Alghiero Boetti’s 1987 sculpted self-portrait or Marisa Merz’s small fountain, emphasizing the tension between political dimension and private space that is at the heart of the poetics of many Italian artists. Through a series of contrasts and symmetries, Italics will also include the latest generation of artists, ranging from Maurizio Cattelan , Vanessa Beecroft , Paola Pivi , Micol Assael and Roberto Cuoghi to emerging figures like Massimo Grimaldi and Enrico David.

After Venice, the exhibition will be travelling to Asia to then reach the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago in the fall of 2009.
Works of Italian artists from the Pinault Collection will be an important contribution to the exhibition. Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968 – 2008 will be accompanied by an extensive catalogue in Italian and English containing a selection of historical texts and recent essays by young international and Italian critics.

The exhibition curator Francesco Bonami is the guest Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He was the director of the 50th Biennale di Venezia, Visual Arts section, in 2003.

For Mondadori he has published “Potevo farlo anch’io; Perche’ l’arte contemporanea e’ davvero arte”(I could have done it myself; Why contemporary art is really art) now in its fifth reprint. He is the chief editor for the “Supercontemporanea” series by Electa/ Mondadori Publishing. His articles on contemporary art have appeared in Vanity Fair Italia, New York Times Magazine and the Italian daily Il Riformista. Bonami has been living in the United States since 1987.



“Italics. Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008” is co-organized by Palazzo Grassi, Venice, François Pinault Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Affiche de l'exposition
Patrick Tuttofuoco
Nanni Balestrini
Michelangelo Pistoletto
Margherita Manzelli
Maria Lai
Luigi Ghirri
Luciano Fabro
Gabriele Basilico
Giorgio Avigdor
Giovanni Anselmo
Domenico Gnoli
Renato Guttuso
1/2

DOCUMENTATIONS
General information
Practical Information:
Campo San Samuele, 3231
30124 Venice
Vaporetto stops: S.Samuele (line 2) or S.Angelo (line 1)
Tel: +39 (0)41 523 16 80
Fax: +39 (0)41 528 62 18
www.palazzograssi.it
Infoline: 199 139 139

Opening hours


Italics. Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968 – 2008
(September 27th 2008 - March 22nd 2009)
Open every day from 10 am to 7 pm ( last entrance at 6pm )
Closed every Tuesday, on December 24th, 25th, 31th 2008 and January 1st 2009

Admission fee


Full rate: 15 euros with the audioguide / 10 euros without audioguide.

Discounted rates:
12 euros with the audioguide / 8 euros simple ticket (adult groups from 15 to 25 people; residents of Venice, ICOM associates, Venice Card Senior, UniCredit employees)
10 euros with the audioguide / 6 euros simple ticket (children from 7 to 18 years old, students up to 26 years old, school groups, deaf-mute, person in charge disabled people, FNAC and Pinault group employees, Venice Card Junior and Rolling Venice)

Free: children up to 6 years old with adult, person in charge of each group of 15 people, 2 people in charge of each group of 25 people, journalists (with a valid press card for the current year), guide authorized with a patent delivered by the Province of Venice, The Seriously Disabled.

Only audioguide : 7 euros The audioguide is available in Italian, French and English.

Advance booking and pre-sale

Circuit Vivaticket by Charta
www.vivaticket.it
By phone: Monday through Friday, 8 am-8 pm and Saturday 8 am-1 pm (paid call) : 899 666 805 (from Italy), + 39 0445 230 313 (international calls)
Booking fee: 1 euro
Points of sale:consultable on the website www.vivaticket.it
Circuit UniCredit
Points of sale UniCredit
Subsidiaries of Unicredit Banca
Subsidiaries of Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna

Guided tours and pre-sale

Palazzo Grassi is working in close collaboration with the association Codess Cultura to organize guided tours in French, Italian and English language.

on booking for groups and special events
Visitors are invited to contact this association to book their guided tour.
Codess Cultura
Tel/ +39 041 52 40 119
Fax/ +39 041 72 30 07
prenotazioni@codesscultura.it
www.codesscultura.it

without booking
in Italian every Sunday at 10.30 am
in French the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of the month at 11 a.m
in English every second and fourth Sunday of the month at 11 a.m.

For any other information the visitors are invited to contact:
Cooperativa Guide Turistiche Autorizzate Venezia
Tel: 041 52 09 0385 – Fax: 041 52 10 762
guide@guidevenezia.it / www.guidevenezia.it

Educational programs

During the exhibition “Italics. Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968 – 2008”, Palazzo Grassi, in collaboration with CodessCultura, will propose educational activities for young people. Through the organization of guided tours for school groups from the primary level up to higher education institutes as well as Sunday ateliers for 4-to-5 year olds, Palazzo Grassi hopes to encourage young people to understand and enjoy contemporary art by stimulating their curiosity about today’s artistic creations.

For reservations of further information
please contact the Educational Department at Palazzo Grassi tel: 041 2401345 (from 9am to 1 pm), scuole@palazzograssi.it
DIRECTION
Curator:
Francesco Bonami
COMMUNICATION
Italy and corespondents press office:
Paola Manfredi
Corso Italia, 8
20122 Milano
c/o Dandelio Creative Partners
Tel: +39 02 45485093
Cell. +39 335 5455539
paola.manfredi@paolamanfredi.com
CONTACT
International press relations :
Eva Astaburuaga dalla Venezia
eva@claudinecolin.com

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