explore by subject
- Art History
- Contemporary Art
- Fondazione Merz
- La favola dell'arte
- La stanza del mondo
- Writings by artist
texts by Federico Squarcini, Guy Tosatto, Wolfgang Laib, Klaus Ottmann
a selection of mantra
format: 23 x 29 cm
date of publication: February 2010
images: 70 col.
This artist’s book records the project of the show by German artist Wolfgang Laib at the Fondazione Merz from 9 April to 7 June 2009. A sense of the balance and harmony that governs the world and the work of man, essential guardian of the universe, lies at the base of the artist’s thinking. An installation of hundreds of small rice mountains, a line of small mountains of pollen and a great mountain of beeswax Ziggurat fill the entire space of the Fondazione. Furthermore, from 1 to 7 June, and for only seven days, the Fondazione was host to a special event that was part of the artist’s project: fortyfive Brahmins priests, from one of the most important temples of southern India, officiated at the rite of fire, which has been part of Indian tradition for millennia.
“A long story lies behind the genesis of this event. For Documenta 1987, Mario Merz invited me to exhibit a vase of pollen on a spiral table. That was the beginning of a beautiful and very precious friendship between two artists with – I believe – different lives, different ages, but sometimes a very similar way of looking. We were both fascinated, something that has much enriched our lives… So it will be much more than an exhibition of different objects and works; not an exhibition for an individual artist, it will concern the whole world, the universe and also our very existence. I have had this dream for the whole of my life, since when I tried to be a doctor, realising very quickly that that meant only dealing with the physical body, whereas our life and existence cannot be reduced simply to matter. The pollen recalls the beginning and creation; the rice mountains and the beeswax Ziggurat (pyramid and steps) nourishment and the bond of the sky with the earth; in the end, fire recalls destruction and the possible renewal of the world, the transformation of what is physical to a new cycle, to a state of change” (Wolfgang Laib).
edited and translated by Nadia Caprioglio
introduction by Jean-Claude Marcadé
format: 16,5 x 24 cm
date of publication: February 2010
The history of Russian art between 1919 and 1930 offers numerous examples of collaboration between painters and writers who came into close contact in the avant-garde groups. Malevich, for his part, felt that the pictorial medium was insufficient to respond to the more precise demands of a new logical discourse, and in the summer of 1919 he temporarily abandoned painting in order to turn to the creation of theoretical texts. Rejecting the “imperfection of the ruffled brush” in favour of the “subtlety of the pen”, Malevich crossed the boundary between painter and philosopher. He did not write about Suprematism, but wrote as a Suprematist, drawing on the extra-pictorial consequences of the new meaning he attributed to painting. The result is an immense corpus of writings, the whole of which constitutes a great book illustrating the artist’s universe. His constantly moving thinking can be found scattered throughout the theoretical essays, polemical articles and letters, which were continually revised, as if the author wanted to sketch define it more closely, and continually interrupted. At times, one has the feeling that Malevich eschews the final version; that the texts are written on the spur of the moment, without revision or correction. Alongside treatises and manifestos in which the philosophy of art appears inseparable from reflections on politics, economics and religion, Malevich’s legacy as a writer has recently been enriched by the discovery of a considerable quantity of poems, some of which are still unpublished. A prolific and polemical writer, Malevich is noteworthy not only for his richness and originality (and sometimes extravagance), but also for his fascinating, ungrammatical literariness. He often ignored not only the rules of spelling and punctuation, but also the usual human logic. His rough prose, which initially repels the reader, ends up capturing and involving him thanks to its vigour and prophetic spirit; the numerous neologisms are a good test for the translator, who is often forced to undertake an exegesis of ’transmental’ linguistic forms and philosophical terms created on the hoof.
Jean-Claude Marcadé, emeritus director of research at the C.N.R.S Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, has been the curator and scientific commissioner of numerous exhibitions, including the monographic exhibition dedicated to Malevich at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bilbao in 2006.
Nadia Caprioglio graduated from the University of Turin in Russian Language and Literature. She completed a PhD in Comparative Slavic Literature at the University of Milan and spent time at the A. Pushkin Institute of Russian Language and Literature in Moscow, the Lomosov University in Moscow, the Université Libre in Brussels and the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She has been a researcher at the University of Turin since 1992, and since the 1996-97 academic year has held the chair of Contemporary Russian Literature at the Faculty of Education where she holds courses on twentieth-century poetry and preparatory seminars on Russian versification.
texts by Chiara Bertola, Giorgio Guglielmino,Beatrice Merz, Luisa Rabbia
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: January 2010
images: 50 col., 17 b/n
This catalogue is published on the occasion of the show of the Italian artist Luisa Rabbia at the Fondazione Merz from 19 June to 20 September 2009. The exhibition evolves around three central works, consisting of a video and two installations, with traveling as the main theme, through an intimate, imaginary and surreal journey. Luisa Rabbia combines her own world of loneliness, fear, anxiety and personal memories with images taken from other people’s lives. The result is a sort of diary, a narrative that develops through a net of drawings: endless roots, fragments of the artist’s work and clips from her previous videos that are all like blood vessels of a life journey. The video Travels with Isabella. Travel Scrapbooks 1883-2008 was conceived during the artist’s residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Luisa Rabbia was inspired by the photographs collected by Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), during her journey through China in 1883, to create an entrancing animated trail: a scenario of images from ancient China on which she composes her personal diary made of drawings, video footage from her previous works and works from the museum collection. In the installation The Following Day, No One Died, placed on one of the large walls of the Fondazione, the porcelain marks interact with her father’s ECG as if extending the past into the present, to let that distant moment in time live on. Finally, among the main works is Under the Same Sky, based on the encounter between the different cultures emerging nowadays in Turin: Italian, Moroccan, and Rumanian. It is a photographic work that blends the images of these three different countries to create an imaginary landscape on which the artist draws, according to her interpretation of the word “immigration” and to her personal experience as “immigrant” in the USA. All photographs are downloaded from the Web, which has actually become the ultimate source of information for all travelers.
From January 23 to February 27 2010, the exhibition will be hosted by the Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
fondazione merz i quaderni.4
unpublished writing by Mario Merz
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: December 2009
images: 65 col., 21 b/n
This is the fourth publication belonging to fondazione merz i quaderni series and it presents the exhibition hopes & doubts (curated by Costantino D’Orazio) held at Fondazione Merz from 22 January to 1 March 2009. Eight Lebanese and eight Italian artists showcase their work in both Beirut (Lebanon) and Turin (Italy). The cutting edge body of work will focus on daily life, translating the special emotional condition of the Lebanese people into paintings, photography, video and installation. The project hopes & doubts aimed to offer a concrete possibility of exchange between the artists of the two Mediterranean countries. In Beirut the show took place in the Dome City Center from 20 to 23 December 2008.
At the same time as the exhibition hopes & doubts the Fondazione Merz presented the solo show of Gabriele Basilico, Beirut 1991, which includes about twenty photographs taken from the great photographic service shot in Beirut in 1991 at the end of the civil war that devastated the country. The result is a photographic document that intends to reflect on what remains of a city after the conflict of war and how it prepares to ‘start again’. The photographer’s eye portrays places with reserve and respect, with a clear, precise way of looking and an attention to detail that reveals the architectural training of this Milanese artist. The Fondazione Merz has chosen to stage two exhibitions at the same time with the aim of ‘narrating’ a place where a new generation of artists works that has grown up in the period between the destruction and the reconstruction of the city of Beirut, a moment that the lens of Gabriele Basilico has accurately captured.
Artists: Gabriele Basilico, Elisabetta Benassi, Ginou Choueiri, Elisabetta Di Maggio, Michael Fliri, Francesco Gennari, Pascal Hachem, Lina Hakim, Joanne Issa, Zena el Khalil, Marzia Migliora, Randa Mirza, Giuseppe Pietroniro, Luisa Rabbia, Marwan Rechmaoui, Rima Saab, Andrea Salvino.
format: 19 x 20 cm
date of publication: 2009
€30,00The artist’s book brings together 138 drawings created by Marzia Migliora between 2006 and 2008. The title Ink on paper incisively defines the content of the book, in which the choice of colour, limited to two Indian ink colours, red and black, determines the thread accompanying a journey through images without the aid of the written word. The book contains no critical apparatus or texts: a choice designed to highlight the expressive and evocative freedom of the language of drawing. The sequence of drawings traces a narrative thread that is composed in the eyes of the viewer without imposing a pre-established reading. The book is divided into six projects with a blank page, a pause, a breath to take the eye to another place. The subjects represented move from the woods to the high seas, from domestic interiors to spaces in which an undefined outline sees the protagonists floating in the white of the paper, the void. This too takes shape, becoming a consistent physical space: a place. Drawing for Marzia Migliora is an act of discovery, a glance at her surroundings, a private act in close relation to her own reserve of past observations, the blank sheet of paper a condition of existence, the area in which to give birth to a situation and make it become conscious.
texts by Matthew Barney, Arthur C. Danto, Gian Luca Favetto, Richard Flood, Olga Gambari
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: May 2009
images: 80 col.
The book collects the multi-faceted project that Matthew Barney developed in 3 days in Turin and documents the different parts of it: the solo exhibition at the Fondazione Merz (30 October 2008 - 11 January 2009), a workshop with the students of the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti and University of Turin, a public meeting between the artist and Richard Flood, opened by a paper written for the occasion by Arthur C. Danto, and a series of films screened at the Cinema Massimo.
Matthew Barney is one of the most important American artists of the new generations. In the international survey he is an original and many-sided author, his work crosses many cultural branches – sculpture, photography, architecture, design, fashion, cinema, music etc. – creating a very special artistic language. His conceptual and aesthetic work mixes parts of all mithologies produced in the history of mankind, from the ancient and classical until the most anomalous and mysterious ones. His hybrid and omnivore artistic research is a sort of great and new cosmogony. His movies are famous all over the world: the epic Cremaster Cycle, Drawing Restraint and De Lama Lamina.
Matthew Barney was born in San Francisco in 1967 and was raised in Boise, Idaho. He attended Yale University, receiving his BA in 1989, then moved to New York City, where he lives today. From his earliest work, Barney has explored the transcendence of physical limitations in a multimedia art practice that includes feature-length films, video installations, sculpture, photography, and drawing. In his first solo exhibitions, Barney presented elaborate sculptural installations that included videos of himself interacting with various constructed objects and performing physical feats such as climbing across the gallery ceiling suspended from titanium ice screws. In 1992, Barney introduced fantastical creatures into his work, a gesture that presaged the vocabulary of his subsequent narrative films. In 1994, Barney began work on his epic Cremaster cycle, a five-part film project accompanied by related sculptures, photographs, and drawings. He completed the cycle in 2002. Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle, an exhibition organized by the Guggenheim Museum of artwork from the entire project, premiered at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, in June 2002 and subsequently traveled to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in October 2002 before its presentation in New York.