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Treasures revealed from the Biscozzi Rimbaud Collection Show all photos
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Treasures revealed from the Biscozzi Rimbaud Collection

From 24 March to 2 June 2024

Biscozzi Rimbaud ETS Foundation

Biscozzi Rimbaud ETS Foundation

Piazzetta Baglivi, 4, Lecce

Closed today: open tomorrow at 16:00

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From 24 March to 2 June 2024 , the Biscozzi Foundation | Rimbaud of Lecce presents the exhibition Treasures revealed from the Biscozzi Rimbaud collection , curated by Roberto Lacarbonara.

The collective exhibition recounts the birth and development of the Foundation's permanent collection by exhibiting, for the first time, 23 works kept in the deposits, as underlined by Dominique Rimbaud who states: "With this exhibition we want to retrace the history of the collection by exploring some of the paths taken but not fully explored, as in the case of figurative painting linked to the landscape and the human subject. Since the opening of our Foundation, we have chosen to meet an extremely broad and demanding audience, sharing different aspects of artistic research: now we also wanted to "reveal" what we conserve in the deposits, which deserves just as much attention and arouses great wonder ".

The choice to exhibit the never-seen works of the Salento museum, three years after its opening, arises from the desire to accompany visitors in the broad cultural panorama of twentieth-century painting, in continuity with the program of Le Storie dell'Arte. Il Novecento , the series of meetings hosted bi-weekly, from February to June 2024, dedicated to the authors and themes of Italian contemporary art.

The exhibition is divided into three sections, one for each exhibition room, focused on some of the main research themes: the Figure , the Landscape and the Space .

“This collection of works was born, as often in our lives, from an intrusion of chance. It all started with a lithograph by Renzo Vespignani and one by Ugo Attardi, purchased in 1969 from a slightly stuttering door-to-door book seller. I didn't know who those artists were, I liked them and instinctively bought them. But I guess my curiosity – is this always the case? – must be backdated to childhood. It is there that we find ourselves alone, amazed by everything that nature, things, people big and small like us, the environment in which we grow up, puts before us and gives us the baggage that will never leave us in the future." From these words of the founder Luigi Biscozzi , the exhibition itinerary of the first room begins, dedicated to the theme of the Figure , in which, next to the lithograph by Ugo Attardi (Sori, Genoa, 1923 – Rome, 2006), Figure of a woman with landscape of the 1968, the rare drawings of Carlo Barbieri appear (San Cesario, Lecce, 1910 – Rome, 1938), a talented artist from Salento who died at just 28 years old: an author who, between painting and poetry, worked on the representation of the intimate and instinctual aspects of the modern subject, adhering to an existentialist poetics.

The works of Bepi Romagnoni (Milan, 1930 - Capo Carbonara, Cagliari, 1964) – in the exhibition Voci diverse , 1960-61 – and of Tino Vaglieri (Trieste, 1929 - Milan, 2000), main exponents of the “Existential realism”, a post-war movement that aimed to problematise the relationship between man and the environment, man and society, through an expressionist painting with decisive, violent, energetic tones, often reaching a tormented, formless and material plasticity, up to the frequent dissolution of figure. In the background, the surrealist lesson, of mythical and dreamlike evocation, of an author like Sebastian Matta (Santiago del Chile, 1911 – Civitavecchia, 2002) of which a precious Composition from 1971 is exhibited.

The second room hosts works conceived starting from the observation of the landscape between the 1950s and the 1990s. The neofigurative lesson of Renzo Vespignani (Rome, 1924 – 2001), guide and main animator of the Roman School and of which Senza titolo from 1968 is exhibited here, elaborates a grammar of essential signs, forms and geometries which find maximum expression in the rich production of engravings already during the years of the German occupation of the capital, also dealing with the graphic expressionism of authors such as Grosz and Dix.

Opposite tension in the quiet and thoughtful landscape painting of Mauro Chessa (Turin, 1933-2022), in which the metaphysical vision of places and the atmospheric quality of painting are oriented towards the observation of deserted landscapes, suburbs and countryside of his Turin: on display the work Between sky and water from 1979.

From this gaze, still intensely pervaded by the objective exploration of the landscape, comes the formal and geometrical articulation of Enrico Della Torre (Pizzighettone, Cremona, 1931 – Teglio, Sondrio, 2022) and the structural sign articulation of Mario Nigro (Pistoia, 1917 - Livorno, 1992), in which the intersection of plans and grids preserves the harmonious motion of the Tuscan horizons. From the Mediterranean chromatism of an Italian Landscape (1967-68) by Salvatore Esposito (Gallipoli, Lecce, 1937) and from the cycle of Islands ( Untitled , 1964) by Ettore Sordini (Milan, 1934 - Fossombrone, Pesaro and Urbino, 2012, where color is the undisputed protagonist of bright backgrounds, we move on to a material and magmatic elaboration of painting, in the wake of the informal experience of Giulio Turcato (Mantua, 1912 - Rome, 1995) and the poor and primordial experience of Armanda Verdirame (Novara, 1944).

The third and last room represents a passage and a connection between the exhibition and the permanent collection located on the first floor, favoring spatialist research which, between the 1960s and 1970s, produced its most intense results in the paintings of Italian and international artists, in the wake of the Lucio Fontana story.

Brilliant testimony emerges from the dialogue between Enrico Castellani (Castelmassa, Rovigo, 1930 – Celleno, Viterbo, 2017) and François Morellet (Cholet, France, 1926-2016) – traveling companions in the Milanese experiences of Azimut and in the French one of the GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel) – which leads to the chromatic rarefaction of the white squared canvases of Rob Sherwood (Bristol, England, 1984) – the youngest of the artists in the collection – in which the pictorial space is nourished by the allusion to the structure of pixels and the network.

Instead, the sign plot of Dadamaino (Milan, 1930-2004) in the work Il movement of things from 1992 seems to move between dilations and compressions; expanding dynamism which, instead, in the diaristic painting of Arturo Vermi (Bergamo, 1928 – Paderno d'Adda, Lecco, 1988), is fueled by slow and calibrated repetitions, traces of hesitant vertical signs, more similar to writing than to any pretension plastic.

The artist's research, within the experiences of close "nuclear" authors such as Ettore Sordini, Piero Manzoni and Angelo Verga, finds correspondences in the Roman paths of Forma 1 and Piero Dorazio (Rome, 1927 - Perugia, 2005) who, in Composition from 1957, he began his work on the articulation of the line, starting from curved and meandering signs, and arriving at the overlapping chromatic textures that would characterize his entire pictorial production in the rest of his years.

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