FROM HERMANN NITSCH TO VALERIO ADAMI, FROM HANS HARTUNG TO GIANFRANCO BARUCHELLO. THIS EXHIBITION PROBES THE REASONS OF ART THROUGH THE WORKS OF EIGHTEEN PERSONALITIES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.
The visitor who enters the Basilica of San Celso cannot escape a fateful question: "Why art?". Questioning him is the work positioned behind the altar, Pourquoi l'art? by BenVautier, which also gives the title to the exhibition set up in the basilica, organized by Marco Orler International Gallery. The works of eighteen Italian and international artists are confronted with the centuries-old capitals and frescoes of San Celso, whose foundation precedes the year 1000, establishing a dialogue between the ancient and the contemporary that is not without suggestion. Thus, after the Aperçues exhibition by Nina Carini, the programming of the basilica dedicated to the contemporary continues, demonstrating dynamism and versatility.
“Why make art, deal with it, work with it? Why study it? Write about it?” asks the curator Angela Madesani in the critical text that accompanies the exhibition. These are questions to which words cannot give an answer: perhaps it is better to let the works speak for themselves which, amidst the pillars of San Celso, look at each other, brush against each other, despite their variety of form and content. This is how the sanguine painting of Hermann Nitsch collides with the large colorful canvas of Stanley Boxer, despite the fact that they share an extremely material approach to color. Similarly, the violent blacks of Emilio Vedova and Hans Hartung are antithetical to the tenuous modularities of Paolo Scheggi and Imi Knoebel.