Where and when
Art historian and curator of the #NATIVI100 exhibition
Co-author of the catalog (Giovanni Michelucci Foundation of Fiesole)
Co-author with Francesco Giomi of the sound installations (Tempo Reale)
On the occasion of the #NATIVI100 exhibition, in progress in Pistoia, Palazzo Fabroni – Museum of the Twentieth Century and of the Contemporary, the Museo Novecento proposes a meeting to present the catalog of the exhibition dedicated to the centenary of the birth of the famous master of Italian abstract art of the late twentieth century, Gualtiero Nativi (Pistoia, 1921 – Greve in Chianti, 1999).
The rich and well-documented volume, curated by Giovanna Uzzani, Gli Ori edition, is configured as a large and updated monograph dedicated to the artist and traces, thanks to a rich essay by Giovanna Uzzani, the various stages of Gualtiero Nativi’s artistic career.
Pistoia by birth but Florentine by adoption, Nativi since 1946 he devoted himself to painting and in 1947 he came to abstract art. The meeting with Giovanni Michelucci dates back to 1948, whom the artist recognizes as the “only master”. In the meantime, classical abstractionism was born, of which Nativi is one of the five signatories of the manifesto and whose events close in the 1950s of their pronouncement.
Within the catalog, an essay by Alessandro Masetti investigates the stimulating comparison created with Giovanni Michelucci’s research in the design experience of the Florentine Caffè Donnini. Thanks to the collaboration with the Giovanni Michelucci Foundation of Fiesole, the intense relationship of the painter with the Pistoian architect, charismatic teacher and friend, to whom Nativi owes the ability to modernly interpret the pictorial decoration in the public space in Florentine environments, unfortunately, is deepened here. lost today, such as the Saletta del Caffè Donnini (1949).
The research climate of the second half of the twentieth century is evoked through the display of two sound installations, curated by Tempo Reale, created as part of the regional project Toscanaincontemporanea2021: the first spreads the voice of Native around the youthful self-portrait, on loan from the Uffizi Galleries; the second, with music by Vittorio Gelmetti composed in 1960, refers to Nativi’s interest in sound research. Also within the Pistoia exhibition and documented in the catalog, there is the unprecedented frieze in enamel painting on metal, chosen as an image for the exhibition, which the artist created between 1957 and 1958 for the bar counter of the Center FIGC Federal Technician of Coverciano.
Over the years, Nativi’s solitary research arrives at a pictorial space intended as a theater of dynamic forms that interpenetrate and collide: thus the need for synergies between artists and architects emerges, and Nativi’s interest in the pictorial decoration of public spaces, of which nowadays rare traces remain in Florence. In the 1960s, the artist joined the Quadrante group and, after a brief informal season, returned to complex geometric structures. Since then, with growing imaginative power and balance of tonal relationships, Nativi has reached a clear ‘classic’. Outcomes that appear in the Pistoian anthology of 1982, edited by Enrico Crispolti, followed by the rich donation of works to his hometown.