From April 6th to July 15th 2012 GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo and the Municipalty of Bergamo – Council for Culture present the exhibition project Arte Povera in città.
The exhibition is part of the big event Arte Povera 2011 curated by Germano Celant, promoted by Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Rivoli (Turin) and the Triennale in Milan and coordinated by Electa.
Arte Povera 2011, which has drawn attention to the movement that started in 1967 with the artists Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Prini and Gilberto Zorio, took place in a number of different spaces: from the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Rivoli (Turin) to the Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna in Rome, from the GAMeC Galleria di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Bergamo to the MADRE Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina in Naples, from the MAMbo Museo d’Arte Moderna in Bologna to the MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo in Rome, and from the Triennale in Milan to the Teatro Margherita in Bari.
Within the history of great international exhibitions, Arte Povera 2011 can be considered the most significant exhibition project ever organised on a key movement in contemporary Italian art.
Since September 2011 it has involved 8 different museums and cultural bodies all over Italy; also, it has served as a way for the national museum network to work together.
The event consists of an impressive number of Arte Povera environmental installations, about 250 in all dated from 1967 to 2011, alongside the presentation of an international context witnessed by the selection of 50 works by European and American artists, as well as a corollary of sections dedicated to the languages of photography, video, books and theater.
In Bergamo, the Arte Povera in città event will unfold in two separate stages. First, from March to June 2012 a promotional campaign composed of 13 artistic posters will “take over” the city, forming a creative invasion of visual and sculptural images proposed by the leading players of this research and pervading the entire urban fabric.
The second moment, concentrated in the Città Alta, or upper part of the city, will see the installation of important works in some of its most representative places. Therefore, through the direct involvement of artists, historic and new works, specifically reinterpreted for the exhibition, will be presented in order to offer an unusual and surprising look at the visual language as well as the urban setting.
The exhibition will feature an itinerary set up at six venues. At the Palazzo del Podestà, in the Sala Giuristi, Calzolari will display Senza titolo (paravento) (2001–2002), a wooden structure covered with gold leaf, and with a CD player and loudspeaker; Marisa Merz is presenting two works, Senza titolo (2010), a painting depicting several women with an almost angelic appearance, and Senza titolo (undated), a small unfired clay sculpture set on a metal base. Igloo con albero (1969) by Mario Merz is one of the first sculptures in which the artist adopted the igloo structure as an ideal architectural form, associated with the natural element, in this case the branch of a tree. Starting with an autobiographical datum, Paolini has created a new work specifically for this exhibition: Sala d’attesa (Bergamo, inverno 1944–45) (2012), which is closely connected with the city. Pascali is on hand with Bachi da setola (1968), enormous caterpillars constructed by assembling synthetic cleaning brushes; Prini, in turn, is presenting a photographic work.
As visitors walk through the streets of the Città Alta, they will encounter the urban space “invaded” by Arte Povera works, which aspire to establishing a unique and spectacular dialogue with Bergamo.
As far as contemporary installations are concerned, Porta San Giacomo is hosting Fabro’s Italia-Porta (2006), a symbolic arch of sorts constituted by two entwined Italies. I temp(l)i cambiano (2009) by Pistoletto, made from industrial material and testifying to the artist’s desire to link his activity with the world of manufacturing, is set in the Chiostro di Sant’Agostino. The Chiostro di San Francesco will host a series of sculptures: Invisibile (1970–2007) by Anselmo is a granite block with the word ‘visible’ carved on it and that, cut on one side, implies a hidden part, making the work complete but ‘invisible’; Struttura del tempo (1993), a bronze work by Penone, poetically alludes to geological stratification; Palla corda (1985) by Boetti is a surprising work in which the lightness of one material sustains the immense weight of another.
Lastly, Kounellis and Zorio are showing spectacular works, respectively in Piazza Vecchia, in the loggia of the Palazzo della Ragione, and in the Fontanone Visconteo under the Ex Ateneo di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti. Created specifically for the exhibition, they are integrated with the impressive historical context, imbuing it with new contemporary energy.
San Giacomo Gate
Cloister of Sant’Agostino
Cloister of San Francesco
Palace of the Governor – Giuristi Room
Former University of Science, Letters and Arts
Germano Celant, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, M. Cristina Rodeschini, Antonella Soldaini