Galleria Granelli
Contemporary Art Gallery in Castiglioncello
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ARTISTIC MOVEMENTS

POP ART

Pop art is an artistic movement that began to take shape in England in 1952 through the works of Hamilton and Paolozzi and then appeared in the United States thanks to the works of Warhol, Lichtenstein, Dine, Oldenburg, Wesselmann, Rivers, Segal, Rosenquist developing contextually in the rest of Europe.
The term Pop art comes from the English word “popular art” or folk art.

 

Starting from a reflection on their contemporaneity, characterized by the abundance of goods and the increasingly massive presence of the media, pop artists take their materials, images and objects from what they represent in reality to create the work.
Pop Art draws its subjects from the universe of everyday life and bases its comprehensibility on the fact that those subjects are absolutely known and recognizable to everyone.

 

In Europe he immediately found great resonance thanks to the 1964 Venice Biennale, which represented it in a more spectacular manner and which awarded Robert Jury’s prize to Robert Rauschenberg.
European artists take part in the current in a different way than the American ones, finding their own identity.
Italians elaborate a language that in pop art takes on more humanistic and literary values, thus reflecting the various cultural autonomies and the sensitivity of individuals, each proposing original, heterogeneous points of view, in some cases even critical of American pop art and creating a climate where overseas influences are filtered through irony and history, the past and the contemporary, culture and memory.

 

It is part of the Roman group of the Piazza del Popolo School:
Tano Festa | Franco Angeli | Mario Schifano | Mario Ceroli | Fabio Mauri | Giosetta Fioroni | Jannis Kounellis | Valerio Adami | Emilio Tadini | Alik Knight | Lucio Del Pezzo | Titina Maselli | Pino Pascali | Claudio Cintoli | Beppe Devalle | Pozzati Concept | Umberto Buscioni | Renato Mambor | Ugo Nespolo | Sergio Lomberdi | Aldo Modino | Piero Gilardi | Michelangelo Pistoletto | Enrico Baj | Domenico Gnoli.

VISUAL POETRY

At the beginning of the 1960s an artistic movement called “Visual Poetry” was born which puts the expressive potential of the word in relation to the image in a single context.

 

Creators and main protagonists are the Florentines Eugenio Miccini and Lamberto Pignotti who form the “Gruppo 70”, to which they will later take part:

 

Lucia Marcucci | Ketty La Rocca | Anna and Martino Oberto | Luciano Ori | Mirella Bentivoglio | Giuseppe Chiari | Emilio Isgrò | Michele Perfetti | Sarenco | Magdalo Mussio | Ugo Carrega | Roberto Sanesi | Adriano Spatola | Vincenzo Ferrari | Gianfranco Baruchello and others

 

Visual poets realize that both literature and art were using a language that was too far removed from the common language, so they decided, to bridge this distance, to create a modern vernacular, whose vocabulary comes from the sphere of mass communication, that is, from newspapers, magazines, advertisements and comics.

 

The movement turns out to be polemic towards linear poetry, unlike which it engaged itself and still engages itself in the critical manipulation of the images that constitute the main sign of the consumer civilization.

 

Thus the technological collage-poem is born which uses verbal and visual stylistic elements in the public domain but distorting them.
For example, in a series of collages of Pignotti stamps a striking contrast is created between the comic phrase and the character depicted on the stamp.

 

Also in the “Visible / Invisible” series and in the “De-com-position” series, images taken from magazines are partly veiled or abraded and commented on by a sentence of the author: the effect is that of a re-signification of the visible through the invisible.

 

Collage is the most congenial technique because it allows an immediate impact with a high degree of decipherability and at the same time a reflection on what the mass media communications are.

 

At the same time some foreign artists work on the same problems giving life to a research whose poetic text becomes the very possibility of word-sign; Jiri Kolar, Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, José Grunewald, Eugen Gomringer contribute to defining Visual Poetry as an international movement.

MINIMAL ART

Minimal art was born in the United States in the early 1960s, almost at the same time as pop art and bases its research on the concept of reduction and cooling of the work.

 

The works are composed of a few elements, the materials in some cases derive from industrial productions, some of the formal matrices are geometry, executive rigor, limited chromatism, the absence of decoration, the absence of allegorical reference, giving maximum preference to the form, which is articulated, rather than in expressive structures, in the modulation of simple elements that intend to be only what they are, pure forms far from any unrealistic representative or expressive illusion.

 

An advance of minimal research can be found in the works of:

 

Frank Stella | Robert Ryman | Brice Marden | Robert Mangold | Richard Tuttle

 

Since the reduction of the formal and chromatic system is already underway.
The term Minimal Art is used for the first time in 1965, by the critic Richard Wollheim in the essay entitled “Minimal Art”, where he mentions a group of American artists such as:

 

Donald Judd | Robert Morris | Carl Andre | Dan Flavin | Sol LeWitt | Tony Smith | Walter De Maria | Anthony Caro | William Tucker | Philip King

 

The intent is to create works in which the total synthesis between shape, volume and color takes place.
In the three-dimensional works the notions of space, geometry and order are strictly taken into account, where the full and the empty construct the work itself that uses simple modular elements, based on regular scans, rhythms and balances.

 

Towards the end of the 1960s, minimal and analytical research also appears in Europe.
In France, the Support-Surface movement was born and then the BMPT group who understood painting as self-reflexive work by questioning traditional pictorial means through a diversity of techniques for applying color and gesture.

 

In Italy, Francesco Lo Savio was the undisputed anticipator of Minimal Art, later artists such as:

 

Rodolfo Aricò | Gianfranco Pardi | Giuseppe Uncini | Mauro Staccioli | Nicola Carrino | Livio Marzot | Massimo Mochetti

 

They are more interested in structural elements, while Claudio Verna, Claudio Olivieri, Giorgio Griffa, Carmengloria Morales and Antonio Pasa focus mainly on the problem of the pictorial surface.

MEDIALISMO

Medialism is a term coined by the Neapolitan critic Gabriele Perretta and then repeated in articles in specialized magazines such as Flash Art and also in a group exhibition in October 1993 at the Flash Art Museum in Trevi (Perugia).

 

Medianism does not consider the work of art as an autonomous totality but finds its counterpart in a concept of free and independent art-construction of the mind and feeling and allows a fundamentally aesthetic system of criticism: a free way to review and identify the values ​​expressed in a certain poetic product by continually varying the sense of admiration and recognition.

 

Starting from this, the medialisms immediately deny that apparent collection of artistic segments already seen; The application of medialism, while lending itself as anything but systematic, manifests itself in various forms including media painting, analytical medialism and media anomaly.
Painting, for example, acts on a wide iconographic range evoking frequent images of popular imprinting; the media analysis, instead, moving with particular contrast towards conceptual idealism, replaces the aesthetic formalization in all its derivations as the process itself of the work; finally, the media anomaly includes artists who intervene on the image of the world of economics and business or who in any case strip themselves of their respective personal identities and place themselves as communication collectives.

 

Medialisms arise from research developed in recent years, analyzing the roots of the work of a group of Italian and foreign artists and recognizing a common foundation that criticizes the very concept of genre used by the avant-garde.
Identifying and choosing the area is up to the user without losing sight of the socio-economic, iconographic and technologically advanced scenario that is the background.

 

It unites these artists with the rejection of a merely descriptive manipulation of communication based on the accumulation of collateral disciplines, comparable rather to the most disparate realities of social transfiguration. In fact, the media artist does not refer to any particular instrument of the mass media; in fact it is not important that there is an explicit reference to mediology, but it is more important that it calls into question and distances itself from that recent history that wanted to bring the themes of art back to its own specific status, standing on an ambiguous philosophy of transition .
(Taken from G, Perretta, Medialismo, Milan, 1993.)

FLUXUS

The Fluxus movement was born in 1961 from an idea of ​​the Lithuanian artist George Maciunas and represents a movement aimed at representing the fusion of all the arts while respecting the specifications of these.

 

The Fluxus works are actions, events that tend to underline how everyday life and the banality of the life of each individual can be understood as an artistic event as, as Maciunas states, “everything is art and everyone can make it”.

 

Next to Maciunas we find Dick Higgins, who claims that “Fluxus is not a movement, a moment in history, an organization. Fluxus is an idea, a way of life, a group of non-fixed people who perform fluxuslavori “.

 

Fluxus theorizes a way of making art that is an uninterrupted flow of situations, perceptions and multiple aesthetic and experimental experiences open to any language such as:

painting | sculpture | happening | dance | music | poetry | theater | technology

 

George Maciunas organized three musical conferences “Musica Antiqua et Nova” which they would join gradually:

 

Ken Friedman | Ben Patterson | Charlotte Moorman | Ben Vautier | Giuseppe Chiari | Sylvano Bussotti | Gianni Emilio Simonetti

 

In 1962, Maciunas promoted the Fluxus festival at the Statische museum in Wiesbaden (Germany).
Subsequently, in 1963, the “Fluxorum fluxus” festival was also staged at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf in which they took part:

 

George Maciunas | Nam June Paik | Emmet Williams | Dick Higgins | Wolf Volstell | Daniel Spoerri | John Cage | Yoko Ono | Silvano Busotti

 

In 1964 the first issue of the magazine “CCV tre” was released, the official organ of the group directed by George Maciunas and George Brecht.
The movement, open to all, spread rapidly throughout Europe and also in the rest of the world; numerous artists joined it, including:

 

Allan Kaprow | Robert Raushemberg | Robert Filliou | Christo | Jiri Kolar | La Monte Young | Henry Flint | Robert Watt | the Japanese group Gutai | the group of Visual Poetries including Lamberto Pignotti and many others.

 

In 1991 there was a major exhibition in Venice entitled “Ubi fluxus ibi motus”.
In addition to an expressive artistic movement, Fluxus can be defined as an attitude towards life, an attempt to eliminate the dividing line between existence and artistic creation; Fluxus artists express the randomness and everyday life of things: in fact they are not based on the study of privileged or sacred objects but represent art through a playful concept, abandoning aesthetic values ​​to focus on Humor and Non-sense.
Precisely because of the interdisciplinary nature of its events, Fluxus can contain and incorporate various artistic trends, such as experimental music, nouveau réalisme, video art, poor art, minimalism, visual poetry and conceptual art.

 

In fact, FLUXUS works of art mainly consist of events or assemblages that draw inspiration from the everyday to recombine it and restructure it into a new horizon, sometimes surprising, always with the collaboration of chance, of the unintended part of the man.

POOR ART

In Turin in 1967, the critic Germano Celant outlines the new work of a generation of young Italian artists, introducing the Arte Povera movement into the international art scene.

 

The main protagonists of the movement are:
Michelangelo Pistoletto | Mario Merz | Jannis Kounellis | Luciano Fabro | Giovanni Anselmo | Pier Paolo Calzolari | Giulio Paolini | Alighiero Boetti | Giuseppe Penone | Gilberto Zorio | Emilio Prini | Piero Gilardi | Pino Pascali, with some of his particular works

 

The works of Arte Povera contrast with the concept of representation, which has always been the foundation for artistic research, in favor of “directly lived”.

 

They seek a language through which it is possible to “open a new relationship with the world and with things” and in particular with nature; Celant stated that “the cliché has entered the sphere of art and the insignificant has begun to exist”.
Arte Povera conceives in fact a completely free use of materials, from those really poor, vegetable, mineral, organic, such as paper, rags, water, stones, earth, up to technology, such as neon lights or simple engines, to testify not the evolution of our society, but its trivial and everyday tools.

 

However, the poor want to rediscover nature not only outside themselves, animals, plants, minerals, but also nature within themselves, their bodies, their memory, their gestures, each element closely connected with the sensitive sphere.

 

The complete freedom of research and expression claimed by the exponents of the group found its precedents in figures such as Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri and above all Piero Manzoni, who had radically revolutionized the traditional canons of making art.

 

Poor art had its main center in Turin, where Christian Stein, Sperone and Notizie galleries were operating, which immediately supported the exponents of the group and soon reached an international affirmation. Significant in this sense is the participation in the exhibition ‘When Attitudes Become Form’, curated by Harald Szeemann in 1969, which showed the closeness of intent and expressive means among different emerging trends, ascribable under the labels of Conceptual Art, Land Art and precisely Art Poor.

 

In the works not only the artist and the world interact, but a relationship is also sought with the viewer who, as a pure user of the aesthetic, is called upon to actively participate in the creation of the artistic event. Pistoletto with the work Zoo invades the city space with a sort of street theater; also interesting “Globe”, a gigantic ball completely produced with newspapers that the artist pushes through the streets of Turin involving the passers-by, all taken and documented in a short film by his friend and artist Ugo Nespolo who appropriated the language of experimental cinema.

 

But we also find the technology with the neon tubes of Mario Merz, the live animals with horses or the parrot of Kounellis, the fabrics on a loom by Alighiero Boetti, the fire-related performances of Kounellis, the giant bristle caterpillars by Pascali, the Gilardi nature rugs.

KINETIC AND PROGRAMMED ART

The artistic movement of kinetic art developed in the 1950s and 1960s throughout Europe, proposing to introduce the movement into artistic work.
The current is a response to a clear need for opposition to “informal” art and has the essential characteristic of creating the conditions for team work, as an ideal model for a continuous process of artistic development through which the work is considered first of everything object, place of research, space of experimentation, where various interpretative paths of the relationship between subject and object meet.

 

The design of the work is studied in detail according to the effects on the spectator, also considering the possibility of interaction of random or probabilistic factors and its serial multiplicability, completing itself through the use of production techniques typical of industry.

 

The artist must therefore possess an adequate scientific and technological mastery, as well as the awareness that his art is not based on inspiration, on gesture, on matter, on the need to express his own ego, but the way to proceed will be rational, controlled, documentable and executable in groups together with colleagues who can be technicians, scientists, ideologues.

 

In Italy, among the historical figures of reference it is customary to consider first Bruno Munari, who in 1952 wrote the Manifesto of Machinism, in which the machines were ironically treated as living beings, producers themselves of low-cost art; according to his poetics, in fact, the artist would have had to change the conception of himself as the sole and total protagonist of the work but become the operator of a team that works according to a collective project.
Subsequently, the “Group T” of Milan was formed in October 1959 with artists such as Davide Boriani, Gianni Colombo, Gabriele De Vecchi, Grazia Varisco.
Also at the end of the 1950s, the “Group N” of Padua was established, of which the most important artistic personalities Alberto Biasi, Edoardo Landi, Toni Costa, Manfredo Massironi, Ennio Chiggio.

 

In Paris, in July 1960 the GRAV (Groupe de recherche d’art visuel) was born with Julio Le Parc, François Morellet, Joël Stein, Jean-Pierre Yvaral, Horacio Garcia Rossi, Francisco Sobrino.

 

In Rome, the “Gruppo Uno” is formed with Gastone Biggio, Nicola Carrino, Nato Frascà, Achille Pace, Pasquale Santoro, Giuseppe Uncini and the critical support of Giulio Carlo Argan.

 

In Dusseldorf, the “Zero Group” was born with Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Gunther Uecker.
A development so differentiated in the various locations has determined a vital and very fast phenomenon; in 1961 in Zagreb the movement “Nove Tendencije” is formed and to sanction the birth of the new research direction, an exhibition is organized that brings together various groups from all over Europe.

 

In 1962, Olivetti organized the review Arte programmata in its Milan office, then traveling to the venues of Venice, Rome, Trieste and New York.
In the United States, kinetic and programmed art took the name of Optical art which then shortened to Op art reached the peak of international fame.
The movement is composed of European, American and South American artists.

 

Among the optical artists the names of:

 

Victor Vasarely | Getulio Alviani | Paolo Scheggi | Jesus Raphael Soto | Yaacov Agam | Bridget Riley | Julio Le Parc | Carlos Cruz Diez

 

Giovanni Anceschi, Franco Costalonga, Dadamaino, Jean Tinguely and Jorrit Tornquist are not to be forgotten among the kinetic research artists.
Kinetic art produces works that are open and programmed, in which movement is fundamental; it can be created with the contribution of mechanisms or illusory and optical or even through light effects.

 

The psychological involvement of the viewer is part of the work itself which, studied in the smallest details, already foresees the intervention, the possibility of interaction considering random or probabilistic, even statistical factors.