Solo – Emilio Vedova

26 maggio – 6 settembre 2018

Dedicated to Emilio Vedova: the first exhibition in the Solo exhibition cycle, conceived by Museo Novecento artistic director Sergio Risaliti. Each exhibition, which will set out from the wealth of works in Florence’s civic collections, will offer a brief portrait of a great master of the 20th century.

Exhibitions drawing from the stores alternate with others organised to host personalities not represented in the collection to allow the project, which is debuting in conjunction with reorganisation of the layout of the Museo Novecento, to respond to the dual need to build new narrations around the artists whose works are conserved at the museum and to integrate the exhibition calendar, to fill the gaps that have characterised the civic collections since they were first assembled.

The first appointment, curated by Luca Pietro Nicoletti, focuses on two high points of Vedova’s career: the significant nucleus of early works by Venetian painter Emilio Vedova, from the museum’s Alberto Della Ragione Collection, painted in 1942 as free exercises in copying and rereading the teleri produced by Tintoretto for the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, and the season from the late 1950s to the early 1960s.

Concerning Vedova’s relationship to the Renaissance master, Sergio Risaliti has this to say: ‘Tintoretto is to Vedova as Michelangelo is to Pollock, a relationship, the latter, pointed up by the Jackson Pollock. La figura della furia (Jackson Pollock. The Figure of the Fury) exhibition held here in Florence in 2014 at Palazzo Vecchio.’

The central junction of the exhibition is Plurimo 1962/63, no. 7, ‘Opposti’ (1962-1963), a work donated by Emilio Vedova, in 1966, in response to an invitation by Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, to the then-forming Museo Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea; it exemplifies the artist’s mature phase, his ‘tongue-and-groove’ interaction with the culture of protest, with its art and politics and with its scenic-musical dimension (his collaboration with Luigi Nono), as well as the point of arrival of his Informale research. In order to create traits d’union among the various sections, it was necessary to document the major seasons of Vedova’s activity and to select works that attest to the highest and most emblematic yield of his qualitative research. The selection on show traces the salient passages in Vedova’s art from the memory of Futurism reread in an abstract key in dark, monochrome and exact colour fields to the explosion of the gesture and colour on the canvas surface with an obstinacy that is ever more ‘furious’ and filled with existential implications. The exhibition concludes with a painting from the 1980s, a large-format work which, in its power and pace, recalls the young artist’s inspiration drawn from Tintoretto’s sublime decoration in Venice.

A project conceived by Sergio Risaliti and curated by Luca Pietro Nicoletti