Fondazione Merz, in collaboration with the Emilio Prini Archive, presents from Tuesday 29 October 2019 to Sunday 9 February 2020 a personal exhibition conceived by the Merz Foundation as a tribute to the artist Emilio Prini (Stresa, 1943 - Rome, 2016).
The exhibition is curated by Beatrice Merz and Timotea Prini. A dutiful homage from the Merz Foundation to a controversial, elusive, certainly brilliant, ironic, authentic and provocative artist. The exhibition is also an opportunity to retrace a bond of friendship and profound esteem between Emilio Prini and Mario Merz.
For the first time a group of over forty works by Emilio Prini, from 1966 to 2016, is brought to the exhibition to activate a critical and historical reflection on the experience of one of the most interesting representatives of Arte Povera.
The exhibition itinerary and the set-up were conceived by the curators in compliance with the artist's philosophy also thanks to the deep knowledge and closeness to the Prini man, friend and father. “Millo: a presence in our life, a creative dialogue, a friend at work, in travels, a constant exchange in an atmosphere full of sensitivity that has certainly influenced its history as well as ours. His breaking of the rules taught the possibility of grasping the value of contradiction and doubt, a passage of art in life. Personal experience today, thanks to time, has turned into something to be studied and disseminated. This is why I am proud to be able to present his work in the space dedicated to Mario and Marisa, an extremely topical work ready for confrontation with the new generations and in line with the path that the Merz Foundation is undertaking, of reflection on its own role, not only as a place of memory and conservation, but also and above all as a mirror of an experimental art ”, comments Beatrice Merz, co-curator of the exhibition and president of the Merz Foundation. The object of this special tribute to the enigmatic figure of Emilio Prini is the extreme research that characterized its production, developed with multiple media including photography, writing and sound text and divided into different macro themes: negation and cancellation. of the work, the empty-full spatial relationship, the standardization of the object and the measure, the contrast between visible and invisible.
The selection on display includes iconic works such as Self -portrait (1968) and Perimeter Measure a studio room (1968), sculptural works on the concept of object standardization and research on photography such as Vetrina (1974/75) or the more than 40,000 photos of Film Tv , 5 min . (1969), in addition to the more recent project La Pimpa Il Vuoto (2008), built with images taken from the famous Altan comic.
The exhibition itinerary is enriched by extensive unpublished archival documentation that includes photographic clippings, notes and sketches. The works come from the collection of the Prini family, from private collectors who have carefully followed the artist's work over the years and from loans from public institutions, including the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Vaduz and the MASI in Lugano.