CULTURE AND TOURISM ON-LINE MAGAZINE

- FEBRUARY 2018 -
HOME - Bridge Italy - Best of Italy - At the MAMbo Arte Povera on display
Best of Italy
At the MAMbo Arte Povera on display Works from the movement founded in ’67-’68 are brought back to our notice, counterposing primordial elements against the opulence of consumer society. Restlessness that seems to be coming back to the surface with the indignados of today by Pietro Marino
SHARE Facebook Twitter

Pistoletto, Venere degli stracci (Venus of the Rags), 1967

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      The word mambo does not only refer to a voluptuous Latin American rythym. It is the acronym of the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, one of the most important in Italy for contemporary art. It is housed in a large, formerly industrial, building from the 19th century, which has been restructured by the Bologna city authorities, giving it large, well-illuminated spaces. On permanent exhibition are works by Italian and foreign authors and it organizes periodical exhibitions of great interest. One of these is the exhibition on Arte Povera Italiana, which began in September 2011 and will go on until January 2012. Arte Povera is a movement which began in Italy in 1967-68, and was so called by the critic Germano Celant because he proposed works and installations made with primordial materials – stones, wood, coal, water, vegetables – often animated by elementary physical and chemical energies (neon, gas, loadstones, vapors, acids), or sometimes even live animals, like horses or birds. The movement thus contrasted the images and assembly-line manufactured objects of Pop Art which reflected the “rich” society of mass consumption.

      Bologna was the city in which, in January 1968, the first official exhibition of Arte Povera was held after its beginnings in Genova. That is why the current MAMbo exhibition is displaying works executed in those first years by the 13 artists who made up the group. Some of them are in fact those that appeared in the collection of 1968 that was set up in a private gallery, De’ Foscherari, in the historical town center. One of the works that was on view then and has come back to the museum is entitled “1 cubic meter of earth”, and is a wooden cube covered in real earth attached to its sides, a dream of authentic nature, of Mediterranean soil. The artist, Pino Pascali, came from Bari, and in the same year was honoured by the Biennale di Venezia with the sculpture award, but on the 11th September, the same day as the Twin Towers attack, he died tragically in a car accident in Rome. He was only 33, but his fame has grown with time: last year the moma of New York bought one of his works for 2 million dollars.

      In the States in fact, many of the artists in this movement, which was to dissolve in 1971, gained fame and success, because their experiences resonated in the more vanguard tendencies of American art. So emotions sensorial and mental, and a sense of surprise, make a come-back, by courtesy of the Bologna exhibition. Twelve sacks laden with coal, by Jannis Kounellis (of Greek origin, but a resident of Rome). A statue of Venus plunging her Greek beauty into a pile of rags, by Michelangelo Pistoletto. An igloo brought about by curved metal sheets by Mario Merz. A bathtub that Gilberto Zorio imagines using as a boat.The tall trunk of an ash tree that bears the handprint of Giuseppe Penone. A lamp that should switch itself on once a year by Alighiero Boetti, another artist who died too young (in 1994, at the age of 54). While a group of flags wrapped untidily round a pole by Giulio Paolini drew attention to the restlessness that the young people of the West were experiencing from Berkeley to Paris to Rome. It was the year that gave its name to history: 68. A history that is trying to repeat itself in the movement of the indignados, from Madrid to Wall Street to Rome. That is why this exhibition in Bologna (the first in a series of celebrations in various cities in Italy, amongst which Bari, in December), is not just a historial re-evocation. “Arte povera” expressed the unease felt on observing a society that was too “rich”. These days those precarious works take us back to a need for authenticity, for primary, concrete, true things, as opposed to a world swollen up with the finance of paper and screens.

More articles
Culture   Eugenio Barba On Life and Theatrical Thought and Practice Culture   Mark Bradford and Wade Guyton Million dollar American art that’s taking Italy by storm Culture   “Poverty is sexist” The young ambassadors of ONE in Paris against extreme poverty Culture   The middle-eastern origin of blown glass, the pride of Venice Culture   “You don’t know the South” 
The culture of the South relaunched in Otranto Culture   Those Southern women who express the world Culture   Andy Warhol The immortal guru of Pop Art Culture   “Angels and saints in Chicago and Baltimora” Cultural exchanges between the University of Bari and the US Culture   Those farm women, thrilled at their first sight of the sea… Culture   My Puglia as seen from the UN Culture   Forty young Italians with ONE for the fight against world hunger Culture   “American Dreamers” The new dream of eleven American artists on show in Florence Culture   The Fulbright Project? An extraordinary opportunity for a cultural exchange
Books   Not even love transforms the Stock Exchange of destinies Books   And the dream of conquest turned into a mirage of the desert Books   Joseph’s Gargano Books   The tragedy of Mattmark A book so as not to forget Books   Journey through the gardens of Italy Books   When poetry investigates “time” Books   Amidst the storms of life it’s the strength of a loving heart that wins Books   That valley in the Gargano so rich in history that must not be forgotten Books   Grottaglie and its pottery through the life of the benefactor Vincenzo Calò Books   Eighty years of joyful culture Books   Sergeant Romano’s siege like in a movie Books   The magnificent eighty Books   San Marco in Lamis seen from its bell-tower Books   A great love for splendid Castro Books   Better not come home... Letters between Italy and America during the first World War Books   Story of a poet between Puglia and America Books   Worked to death under the sun of Puglia Books   When forgotten objects tell a life story Books   Masserie of Puglia Journey amidst Beauty Books   An excursion into the Salentine dialect … Mai pe iabbu Books   The moral revival of the South can start from its “best” Books   Life, anyway! Books   Rainbow of women Books   Amidst the mountains of Val d’Aosta …in pursuit of the culprit Books   …Once upon a time there was the past Writing about it to preserve the memory Books   Disorder and experimentation in the museum-houses of Ignazio Apolloni Books   Salento stories …in search of lost time Books   Pietro Marti, the great standard-bearer of Salento culture Books   Even tycoons cry Books   If a “whale” island appears one night out of nowhere… Books   From his ancestral Calabria to Roma Precious memories of a lifetime Books   The importance of rediscovering “fraternity” Books   In the wax museum to seek the dream of a better world Books   Naples “Kissed by God and raped by Man” Books   Once upon a time there was the padre-padrone Books   Second World War The drama of the fallen Books   On the Savannah lagoons …to heal Books   The meaning of the 20th century in the saga of the Stille family Books   In Fellini’s La dolce vita the germs of today’s Italy Basilicata   Craco The “second life” of a ghost town Po Delta   The Po Delta park Natural beauty and history Bari   “Cieli americani” in Bari Verona   Verona Shakespeare celebrated its beauty without ever having seen it Courmayeur   Courmayeur All the charm of the low season Ferrara   You can still dream in Ferrara Ferrara   “Action!” Amongst Ferrara’s myriad sets Music   Porretta Soul Festival The Italian Woodstock of black American music Matera   Pasolini-Matera Fifty years ago the first Gospel in the Sassi Naples   “Wood Stone and Friends” Jimmie Durham’s magic vitalism at the MADRE Naples   Art miracles at Vigna San Martino Naples   The Hermann Nitsch Museum From horror to awareness Bologna   Do you want to be FICO? In Bologna you can Bologna   Bologna “The Learned”, “The Fat”, “The Red” Polignano   From Brooklyn to Polignano Twelve artists out to conquer Europe Movies   With The Revenant DiCaprio rises again and aims for the Oscar Movies   Quo Vado? When the southern redneck turns politically correct Movies   When the cinema returns to the future Best of Italy   Andria Pietro Zito’s vegetable garden This is where his prize-winning dishes originate Best of Italy   The best Milanese panettone is… Salentine San Marino   “From Hopper to Warhol” on the gentle hills of San Marino San Marino   San Marino Historic appeal amidst breathtaking panoramas Turin   Reggia di Venaria Reale A treasure rediscovered Turin   The Egyptian Museum of Turin The immortal appeal of the Pharaohs Turin   “For President” Photogenic qualities will win the elections Padua   So much… In the city of the three “withouts” Milan   EXPO 2015 Not just food Milan   The oneiric inspirations of Joan Jonas Milan   “Autunno americano” Milan celebrates the States Milan   MILAN The metropolis is still “to drink” (…and “to eat”) Rome   “Empire State” New York is still the epicenter of art Travel   “A thousand and one Puglias” Travel   New Year’s Eve in Salento Naonis Viaggi and Bridge offer the first “tour of wonders” Travel   A taste of Italy from Puglia to Basilicata Venice   The immortal charm of the 
“Queen of the Sea” Venice   So many “Illumi/nations” with the Biennale d’Arte Rovigo   History and Art In the capital of the Polesine Rovigo   “Divisionism, the light of what is modern” 200 works on show in Rovigo