Anselmo Calzolari Merz Pistoletto Zorio
Piazza Vittorio 9
October 14, 2002 – January 18, 2003
Pistoletto, Calzolari, Anselmo, Mario Merz, Zorio
Five of the greatest exponents of Arte Povera – Pistoletto, Calzolari, Anselmo, Mario Merz and Zorio – have been brought together in a single exhibition – or perhaps five solo exhibitions? – hosted by the Galleria Giorgio Persano of Turin, from the 14th October 2002 to the 18th January 2003.
The works on display date from the 1980s and the 1990s, and offer visitors the opportunity to appreciate the various roads travelled and explored by a group of artists sharing common point of departure. Such an exhibition has been made possible by their continued work and presence in Turin, the city representing the formative roots and success of the movement, and which still today is an international focal point for contemporary art, both in its declaration and elaboration (see the Passante (walkers-by) project and the recent inaugurations of the Igloo-Fountain of Mario Merz, and the Garden of Giuseppe Penone, the Merz Foundation, Luci d’artista (Lighting by Artsists).
The exhibition opens with a range of works by Michelangelo Pistoletto from the mid-1980s which are part of the larger series L’Arte dello Squallore (The Art of Squalor). The works differ greatly from the Mirror Works – whereby the visitor entered to become part of the work itself. In this selection, volume imposes itself on space, with the paint itself becoming matter and sculptural presence.
On exhibition in the central hall is the work by Pier Paolo Calzolari entitled Rideau (Curtain) from 1989, a sort of lead and copper curtain rising to the ceiling. The work interacts with the surrounding environment to capture the water vapour present in the air and transform it into ice. The ice thus becomes “colour”, a material which then melts and becomes once again water, in a never-ending cycle whereby the work continuously regenerates itself.
The hall to the left hosts the work by Giovanni Anselmo entitled Particolari lungo il sentiero verso oltremare (Details along the path leading beyond the sea), 1972-1992-2002. The work is a metaphor for a journey, an invitation to travel down the road taking us towards the colour beyond the sea, to the point of leading us conceptually beyond the merely visible, offering along the way details for the eye to capture in a precise moment or, alternatively, to be lost in the overall vision of the whole.
Three great paintings by Mario Merz (oils on canvas or paper: Bottiglie (Bottles) 1980-1985; Igloo con sfere (Igloos with spheres) 1980-1985; Tigre (Tigers) 1980-1985) are on display in the hall to the right. The works are the fanciful and visionary expression of sculptures and installations of great energy, powerful almost to the point of archaism, and of great conceptual rigour.
The themes of journey and exploration, and of dreams are all present in the installation by Gilberto Zorio Canoa su piramide II (Canoe on pyramid II) from 1991. A canoe resting against a metallic ‘pyramid’ evokes its journey as an object–subject of memory. A whisper, or siren, across time and space, which sediments and ferments inside a pyrex glass flask, as though within a chemical-alchemical process in transformation.