• Life of Art

    Date posted: January 11, 2009 Author: jolanta
    An important event took place in Milan at PAC (Contemporary Art Pavillion): Nouveau Réalisme from 1970 up until today—Homage to Pierre Restany (1930-2003) was on view in February, curated by Renato Barilli. Milan owes homage to Pierre Restany. He had found a second home in Milan, a more hospitable city than Paris. He is one of the most important international art critics and cultural philosophers of our time. I was very excited when I saw the show, first of all, because Restany was my mentor for many years, and also because I was chosen by him to be part of his editorial staff. He taught me how to look at art without barriers, with an open heart, and an open mind. Since 1963 he has been the artistic director of Domus Magazine, and since 1985 he directed D’Ars Magazine
    for 18 years.
    Image

    Stefania Carrozzini   

    Image
    Arman, La Chute des Courses, 1996. Accumulazione di carrelli del supermercato, 345 x 433 x 115 cm. Courtesy of Fondation A·R·M·A·N, Ginevra, and Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Parigi.

    An important event took place in Milan at PAC (Contemporary Art Pavillion): Nouveau Réalisme from 1970 up until today—Homage to Pierre Restany (1930-2003) was on view in February, curated by Renato Barilli. Milan owes homage to Pierre Restany. He had found a second home in Milan, a more hospitable city than Paris. He is one of the most important international art critics and cultural philosophers of our time.

    I was very excited when I saw the show, first of all, because Restany was my mentor for many years, and also because I was chosen by him to be part of his editorial staff. He taught me how to look at art without barriers, with an open heart, and an open mind. Since 1963 he has been the artistic director of Domus Magazine, and since 1985 he directed D’Ars Magazine for 18 years. The best way to give him honor was to show the artists that represent his major art critic thought, the ones from the Nouveau Réalisme. Amongst 13 artists that had composed the group, 11 of them were exhibited, excluding Klein, because he died before 1970, and Martial Raysse. The group of Nouveau Réalisme is represented at PAC with astonishing artworks: Arman, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle, and the décolaggistes Francois Dufren, Raymond Hains, Mimmo Rotella, and Jacques Villeglé, Christo, and Jeanne Claude. Also included in the show were Ugo Mulas’s reportages photos and the video of the Canadian filmmaker Marc Israel, Le Pelletier, a video about Pierre Restany and his daily life at work.

    An important role was played by Guido Le Noci, the director of Galerie Apollinaire in Milan, where on April 16, 1960 the Manifesto of Nouveau Réalisme was originally issued. The aim of the group under the guide of Pierre Restany was to overcome the “gap between art and life” by dealing directly with reality. This “reality” was principally the world of modern consumption and mass media. The artists represented a particular need of that period of time, a desire to take back the reality in terms of poetical inspiration that touched every aspect of daily life against the dominant culture of consumption. They gave form to this idea through different ways of expression such as action spectacle, involving performances, activities, and collages with manipulation of torn advertising posters, assemblages of items randomly chosen from the world at the given moment.

    At our time the era of ditto manifesto seems to be over, but the manifesto written by Restany with strength and urgent immanence illuminates today our thought with its power of words and intention. Restany believed, in a radical way, in the full effective expression of the pure sensibility of the individual creator. He deeply believed that human experience was never separated from art. Art and life were, for him, always tied together. His written words in the manifesto still opened our mind in a planetary vision: “We are thus bathed in direct expressivity up to our necks, at 40 degrees above the Dada zero, without aggressiveness, without a downright polemical intent, without other justificatory itch than our realism. And that works positively. Man, if he shares in reintegrating himself in reality, identifies it with his own transcendence, which is emotion, feeling, and finally, once again, poetry.

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