press release

The exhibition The Image of the Void. An Investigation on Italian Art 1958-2006 focuses on the many aspects of the linguistic revolution triggered in Italian art in the late 1950s. To do this, we must explore the affinities, contaminations and contrasts between the Italian experimental context - at the time dominated by Fontana, Manzoni and Castellani - and Yves Klein, then a major presence in Milan both in exhibitions and in the intense dialectic exchanges.

We will focus on the research of artists such as Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi, Francesco Lo Savio, Gianni Colombo, Dadamaino, Giulio Paolini, Alighiero Boetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Gino De Dominicis and Ettore Spalletti to highlight a specifically Italian quality, a hidden, underground approach - an inconsistency almost - that ran subtly through the course of research on the European scene in the second half of the 20th century.

The exhibition will illustrate the approach that countered the more frequently adopted and diffuse "expressive" component with an "evocative" metaphysical matrix. It shows these artists' common need to leave their psychological and subjective identities to one side and make the creator of the work impersonal and absolute.

After the Art Informel period, centred on the Self, the new generation moved away from a pre-eminent subject, striving to venture beyond the confines of the immaterial and make the exquisitely pictorial space of the void, the dimension of infinity, absolute colour and the codes of artistic practice essential elements in the shaping of a new vision of the status of the work and of the very identity of art. We intend to analyse a course of research that, despite its innovatory portent, seems in its radical annulment to have conserved an awareness of the inalienable need for the image. An image that appears "bodiless" and that escaped the stalemate of the British form of analytical and declaredly conceptual art, which rejects the image a priori. This course never relied on purely theoretical-speculative stances but chose to remain true to the pre-eminence of the image

Finally, the exhibition explores the legacy that these major players of the second half of the 20th century left to the newest generation, identifying the aspects of that period that live on in today's Italian art vocabulary. To this end, there will be works by artists such as Mario Airò, Francesco Barocco, Gianni Caravaggio, Martino Coppes, Daniela De Lorenzo, Chiara Dynys, Francesco Gennari, Eva Marisaldi, Amedeo Martegani, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Diego Perrone, Luca Trevisani, Francesco Vella e Italo Zuffi.

Artists in the exhibition : Mario Airó, Francesco Barocco, Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Agostino Bonalumi, Gianni Caravaggio, Enrico Castellani, Gianni Colombo, Martino Coppes, Dadamaino, Gino De Dominicis, Daniela De Lorenzo, Chiara Dynys, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Francesco Gennari, Yves Klein, Francesco Lo Savio, Piero Manzoni, Eva Marisaldi, Amedeo Martegani, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Giulio Paolini, Diego Perrone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ettore Spalletti, Luca Trevisani, Francesco Vella e Italo Zuffi.

Exhibition curated by Marco Franciolli, Director, and Bettina Della Casa, Curator, Museo Cantonale d'Arte, Lugano. Video section by Elena Volpato.

Catalogue: Italian/English, Skira Publishing House, Milan. 120 colour pages. Introduction by Marco Franciolli. Texts by Bruno Corà, Bettina Della Casa, Marcello Ghilardi, Tony Godfrey, Ada Masoero, Giulio Paolini, Annemarie Sauzeau, Dieter Schwarz and Elena Volpato. Artists' profiles by Simone Menegoi.