TEL AVIV,ISRAEL.- The Italian Cultural Institute of Tel Aviv will open on July 19, 2007 at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art of ITALIAN MENTALSCAPES: A Journey through Italian Contemporary Art, a major art exhibition that presents the works of the most influential Italian contemporary artists. The exhibition is curated by Prof. Demetrio Paparoni and it received the patronage of the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Massimo DAlema, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Francesco Rutelli and of the Ambassador of Italy in Israel Sandro De Bernardin The exhibition will remain open to the public until October 6 2007.
Thanks to the elaborate and large selection of the artists and the quality of the works, the exhibition qualifies as one of the most important displays of Italian art outside of Italy of the last decade.
Demetrio Paparoni is an acclaimed art historian, art critic, curator and writer of several theoretical works on contemporary art. In the 1980s he created the magazine Tema Celeste, that he directed for more than 20 years and in 1993 he was appointed commissioner for the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Paparoni also teaches History of Contemporary Art at Catania University and has recently curated TIMER, a major exhibition of contemporary art at the Milan Triennale.
Italian Mentalscapes analyzes the spirit of Italian contemporary art and is conceived as a path through which all the works are connected to one another, grouped according to specific themes not necessarily following a chronological order.
The curator has divided the exhibition in three sections: literary metaphysics, analytical metaphysics and tragic-ironic metaphysics. This classification allows for an original identification of the characteristics that distinguish the Italian contemporary art, celebrating its uniqueness.
Italian Mentalscapes focuses from the Seventies until today, but it will also present older works. Three major works will open each of its sections: a work of Giorgio De Chirico for the literary metaphysics, one of Giorgio Morandi for the analytical metaphysics and one of Alberto Savinio for the tragic-ironic. Although the exhibition begins with the Arte Povera (poor art), it will display the works of artists from previous decades whose teachings have had a strong impact on the development of the Italian contemporary identity (Giorgio De Chirico, Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni.)
The exhibition and the catalogue will highlight the works belonging to the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts collection (Piero Manzoni, Mimmo Palladino, Enzo Cucchi, Sandro Chia, Claudio Parmiggiani). Many of the works were donated by Arturo Schwarz, a strong supporter of this initiative. Particular attention will also be given to the works of Israeli private galleries and private collectors.
The sections are divided as follows:
Literary metaphysics: (Giorgio De Chirico), Giovanni Anselmo, Gabriele Basilico, Vanessa Beecroft, Domenico Bianchi, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Paolo Canevari, Maurizio Cattelan, Francesco Clemente, Roberto Cuoghi, Nicola De Maria, Jannis Kounellis, Eva Marisaldi, Masbedo, Fausto Melotti, Mario Merz, Nunzio, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Paola Pivi, Ettore Spalletti, Grazia Toderi.
Analytical metaphysics: (Giorgio Morandi), Stefano Arienti, Enrico Castellani, Lucio Fontana, Francesco Gennari, Giuseppe Gabellone, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Giuseppe Uncini, Gilberto Zorio.
Tragic irony: (Alberto Savinio), Bertozzi e Casoni, Alighiero Boetti, Monica Bonvicini, Loris Cecchini, Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Gino De Dominicis, Luciano Fabbro, Mimmo Jodice, Piero Manzoni, Liliana Moro, Luigi Ontani, Mario Schifano, Mimmo Paladino, Francesco Vezzoli.
In his introductory note in the catalogue, Arturo Schwarz, one of the most renowned contemporary art historian and a strong supporter of this initiative, writes that Mentalscapes presents artists which are familiar to the international arena but also allows for an original critical vision of Italian art by highlighting the origins of the metaphysical thought that developed in the beginning of the 1900 with Giorgio de Chirico, Carlo Carrà, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Savinio and more. Schwarz also adds that The title of the exhibition, Italian Mentalscapes, was born in the cafeteria of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art during a meeting between Mordechai Omer, Director of the Museum, Demetrio Paparoni, curator of the exhibition and Simonetta Della Seta, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute. It was Mordechai Omers intuition that led to the invention of a new word that would synthesize the spirit of the initiative. The translation into Italian in Mentalgrafie is by Giuseppe Conte, one of the most influential Italian poets.
One of the most important aspects at the basis of the project of Italian Mentalscapes is the idea that the exhibition should be a meeting point between the Italian and Israeli cultures as both countries are increasingly aware of the importance and necessity of dialogue between people.
The exhibition opens with a self-portrait of Francesco Clemente (self-portraits, which are a theme dear to De Chirico, are the symbolic affirmations of our own identity) and ends with 10 Insects to Feed by Masbedo, a large work created specifically for the Museums wall that displays a video (now part of the Museums collection as a donation by Arturo Schwarz.) The video deals with the theme of the Wests fear of fear and its negative effects on the defense of democracy. Another significant work is Michelangelo Pistolettos Love Difference: a large table surrounded with several chairs originating from various countries. With this work Pistoletto - who was recently awarded the Wolf Prize- offers a meeting place for exchanging ideas between people of different cultures and ethnicities, ready to sit at the same table with a mindset of love difference.
At the conclusion of its stay in Israel, Italian Mentalscapes will be displayed in Athens, Istanbul and Ankara.