Fascinating, multifaceted and profound: These are the words that come to mind when describing the Italian art that will be on view in the show Tutto starting 13 October 2018. Visitors will be treated to more than 100 works – mainly paintings and photographs – by more than 30 Italian artists represented in the Sammlung Goetz and the Museion collection. Most of the artworks date from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. Following When Now Is Minimal (2013) and The Photographic Portrait between Participation and Alienation (2017), Tutto, a show that focuses solely on Italian art, is the third cooperative project undertaken by the two collections. After the showing in Bolzano, Tutto will travel to Munich in the summer of 2019 to be presented at the Sammlung Goetz, which will thus for the first time in its history host a dialogue between its own holdings and an extensive body of works from another collection.
The works featured in Tutto come exclusively from the holdings of the two collections, which have very different histories. On the one side, there is the extraordinary passion of a private collector, Ingvild Goetz, who has always recognized emerging developments early on and has discovered and collected artists before they became established on the market. On the other side is Museion, a public museum at the crossroads between the mediterranean and northern cultural realms, which has for many years been exploring experimental art forms outside the mainstream. The result of the dialogue between these two collections is a veritable survey of the most important trends in Italian art since the Second World War. The artworks on view will be supplemented by an extensive selection of documentary material from the archives of the featured artists. The variety of different elements – photographs, posters, invitations, working notes, objects – creates a multifaceted overall impression.
Starting out with the concept of the two-dimensional artwork, Tutto proceeds to challenge this idea bit by bit. Lucio Fontana’s “Concetto spaziale” from 1954 and Alighiero Boetti’s 1988 work “Tutto”, which has given the exhibition its name, kick off the show. Fontana’s spatial concepts are seen here to be exemplary for how artists, after the Second World War, went beyond the two-dimensional canvas to explore a three-dimensional mental and cosmic space. This concept of space would go on to form a central point of reference for a whole series of important experimental artworks in the postwar era. The exhibition offers an insight into different approaches that combine the concepts of opening up, expanding, and overcoming two-dimensionality. The positions shown range from the experiments with the canvas undertaken by Carla Accardi, Enrico Castellani, and Agostino Bonalumi, which ultimately aim at doing away with painting in favour of endless repetition, to Manzoni’s material experiments and thus overcoming the idea of the surface to dematerialize painting.
Alighiero Boetti’s work “Tutto,” by contrast, refers to another central aspect of the exhibition: the idea of a totality and a multiplicity of phenomena that exceed human cognitive capacity. The exhibition title Tutto alludes to a diversity that has characterised the work of numerous representatives of Italian art since the late 1960s, especially those artists who deal with the media nature of the image. This is exemplified in the pictures of Mario Schifano and Fabio Mauri but also in the mirrored surfaces found in Michelangelo Pistoletto’s works.
In view of the debates revolving around communication theory in Italy in the 1960s, the exhibition also includes two sections dealing with experimental photography and the relationship between image and text, as well as visual poetry. Pieces combining image and text are one focus of the Museion Collection, or more specifically of the Archivio di Nuova Scrittura, on permanent loan from Paolo Della Grazia. In the 1960s, various artists responded to the development of the media in society by making visual poetry, resulting in hybrid works that are difficult to classify. In addition to works by visual poets such as Nanni Balestrini, Luciano Caruso, Emilio Isgrò, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Stelio Maria Martini, and Emilio Villa, the exhibition also includes artists who work intensively with script, such as Gianfranco Baruchello, Giuseppe Chiari, Maurizio Nannucci, Claudio Parmiggiani, and Franco Vaccari.
The photographic section of the exhibition mainly consists of works from the Sammlung Goetz. It documents how photography often functioned between 1960 and 1970 as a conceptual or poetic manifesto. The individual positions are often difficult to categorize and can best be subsumed under the overarching term conceptual art. Along with important rediscoveries, the show presents works by renowned artists ranging from Giorgio Ciam’s Transformations and Marcello Jori’s Adventures, as well as Land Art represented for example by Germano Olivotto. Performances by Giuseppe Desiato, Elio Mariani’s Mec Art and Plinio Martelli’s Body Art along with Ketty La Rocca’s visual poetry and the narrative art of Michele Zaza are also presented in the show.
Artists in the exhibition: Carla Accardi, Vincenzo Agnetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Nanni Balestrini, Gianfranco Baruchello, Alighiero Boetti, Agostino Bonalumi, Luciano Caruso, Enrico Castellani, Giuseppe Chiari, Giorgio Ciam, Dadamaino, Giuseppe Desiato, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Luigi Ghirri, Emilio Isgrò, Marcello Jori, Ketty La Rocca, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Piero Manzoni, Elio Mariani, Plinio Martelli, Stelio Maria Martini, Fabio Mauri, Maurizio Nannucci, Ugo Nespolo, Germano Olivotto, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Giuseppe Penone, Gianni Pettena, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Salvatore Scarpitta, Paolo Scheggi, Mario Schifano, Franco Vaccari, Emilio Villa, Michele Zaza