On occasion of the GONG, anthological exhibition of works by Eliseo Mattiacci at Forte di Belvedere (2 June – 14 October), the Museo Novecento is hosting, on the second floor of the museum complex, a number of significative works from the artist’s mature period: the sculpture Per Cornelia (For Cornelia) (1985), the large drawing entitled Occhio del cielo (The Eye of the Sky) (2005), two works on paper, Esplorare (Exploring) (2007) and Poesia (Poetry) (1972-1973), and the video work Richiami (Bird Calls) (1972).
One of the pioneers of the Italian avant-garde in the late Sixties, Mattiacci is an artificer of experimentation and renewal in sculpture and stands as an inspired inventor of cosmological iconographies and of new spatial and conceptual relationships between art and nature, between man and the environment.
His is an almost shamanic exercise, aimed at exploring the sublime in the cosmos, the orbits of the planets, the rhythms and geometries that appertain to the infinite universe: he draws star maps that, perform symbolic and ritualistic functions, today as millions of years ago. ‘I feel attracted by the sky, with its stars and planets, and beyond it, by our galaxies,’ the artist states. ‘It is an imagination that goes beyond, as though to challenge imagination itself, as if in a dream. I would like, one day, to launch one of my sculptures into orbit in space. It would be a magnificent dream to know that one of my spatial shapes is orbiting up there.’
The works on show at the Museo Novecento are a preview of the great anthological exhibition at the Fortezza di Santa Maria in San Giorgio del Belvedere (Forte di Belvedere) that confirms the close scientific and project-related correlation between the two spaces.
‘With this exhibition . . . all of Florence reinforces its image as a contemporary city that reflects, together with artists, on its own civil history and its artistic heritage, on the great cultural legacies of the past and on modern society, science and spirituality; and above all, on poiesis and techne,’ explains Sergio Risaliti, artistic director of the Museo Novecento and the curator of the exhibition. ‘And it does so by offering citizens and tourists the opportunity to admire the works of one of the great masters of our time, creator of sculptural shapes and graphic paths that have force enough to reconcile the material dimension and that of the metaphysical dream, the Chthonic world and that of infinite, sidereal spaces. A trajectory, Mattiacci’s, of exemplary cohesion and freedom, of generous resistance and lyrical force. [His is] a presence indispensible to the history of art, beginning with the early works in which, as artist and poet, he unites earthbound labour with technology and reactivated myths with contemplation of the stars. To arrive at his most recent works and installations, with which this artist from the Marche region has sought to present his idea of the cosmos to the world, continuing a journey of discovery and wonder at nature and the universe shared by Lucretius and Galileo Galilei, Giacomo Leopardi and Mattiacci himself; poets and artists of yesterday and today.’
Curated by Sergio Risaliti in collaboration with Studio Eliseo Mattiacci