Where and when
A monument at the moment. Medardo Rosso and the origins of contemporary sculpture
Introduced by Sergio Risaliti and Marco Fagioli. In the presence of the author
On the occasion of the Solo. Medardo Rosso, the Museo Novecento hosts the presentation of the volume A monument to the time of Sharon Hecker, which offers a compelling reading of the work of this revolutionary artist, loved by artists. A precursor of trends that found full development only in the twentieth century, Rosso had an extraordinary posthumous fortune, leaving indelible marks on artists such as Boccioni, Brancusi, Giacometti and Moore, but also on numerous contemporaries: Fabro declared a substantial debt towards him, and Anselmo, in front of the wax sculptures, recognizes how the material forged by Rosso vibrates from the inside, as if it had a beating heart.
From the very beginning, Rosso has an irreverent goal: to dematerialize monumental sculpture, which from eternal and celebratory becomes anti-heroic with him and capable of grasping the fleetingness of the moment. It is revolutionary, however, also in overcoming geographical barriers in an era in which art is strongly defined by national borders. Raised in the aftermath of the unification of Italy and disillusioned by the failed promises of the Risorgimento, he left the country in 1889 to move to Paris where he will spend most of his life. Emigrated by choice and cosmopolitan by vocation, his indomitable personality makes him hostile to memberships of any kind, but receptive to any stimulus of modernity, from new communication channels to advances in photography, which allow him to draw on a variety of visual and , in turn, to circulate their work like never before. Furthermore, by working on a small scale, Rosso makes the most static and heavier of the arts an easily transportable product, in line with the unorthodox strategies he develops to promote his work. By placing Rosso’s activity in a historical and transnational perspective, Hecker offers an alternative to the canonical account of the birth of modern sculpture. If Rodin has always been assigned the role of isolated and heroic innovator, Sharon Hecker gives due weight to an artist who anticipated many practices that have become common today in the global artistic vocabulary.
Specialized in the history of modern and contemporary Italian art, she is one of Medardo Rosso’s leading experts. He has published numerous writings on him and curated important exhibitions including the recent retrospective at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (2016-2017) and, with Julia Peyton-Jones, the monographic “Medardo Rosso. Sight Unseen “(2017-2018) at the London office of the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. Among his interests, also the work of some Italian artists of the twentieth century, such as Lucio Fontana and Luciano Fabro.
In collaboration with Johan&Levi