Fabio Mauri (Rome 1926 – 2009) is the artist selected for the fifth edition of Solo, the exhibition cycle housed in the rooms of the second floor of the Museo Novecento of Florence, dedicated to creating portraits of great artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The exhibition, curated by Giovanni Iovane and the Artistic Director of the Museo Novecento, Sergio Risaliti, open to the public from 24 January to 30 April 2020, is devoted to an exceptional exponent of the Neoavanguardia [New Avant-garde] of the second half of the 20th century who explored over time the development of ideologies and their effects on society. From his debut in the 1950s, among the young artists of Piazza del Popolo in Rome, up to the early years of the 21st century, Mauri was a leading player in the international avant-garde scene with his ceaseless experimentation. His style, in which personal experiences and phenomena of collective, universal significance are interconnected, is characterised by a multidisciplinary approach and combines drawing and painting with performance art and installations.
The analysis of Power and its aesthetic prompted Mauri to question himself about the role of “Evil” in the history of humanity, on the mechanisms of violence and of standardisation – through an artistic language of signs and attitudes aimed at controlling and eliminating the “other” –, exposing oppressive and discriminatory dynamics and the glorification of values hinging on identity and the figure of the Übermensch. His works, of fairly recent conception, are still highly topical today.
The exhibition at the Museo Novecento opens with one of his famous Schermi [Screens] (from the late 1950s), works involving the use of white surfaces for projecting and restoring images and phrases, where Mauri reworks the concept of drawing as a form intimately linked with writing and monochrome.
Mauri’s “drawings” also appeared over the years in the form of collages and installations, as in Comò-disegno (1990), which consists of various objects from different epochs.
The exhibition also included the rarely seen series Apocalisse [Apocalypse] (1980s) and Dramophone, in which the image of the disc as a “world already recorded” recalls the subjects of predestination and destiny. A reflection on language as an instrument aimed at redefining space resurfaces in the horizon line created by the snapshots of Linguaggio è guerra [Language is war] (1974), images taken from illustrated magazines that prompt one to dwell on the value of language as a weapon.
Curated by Giovanni Iovane and Sergio Risaliti