CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art
(MCA), Chicago presents Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008, a ground-breaking exhibition devoted to contemporary Italian art that both embraces and breaks tradition. Italics, co-presented by the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, explores Italian art and creative experimentation from the late-1960s to the present, and is on view November 14, 2009 to February 14, 2010.
Italics is not only a collection of art made in Italy, but more importantly, it demonstrates how the artists forged new identities from deeply rooted practices. Offering an unprecedented look at the artistic creation of a country where cultural change has often been defined by the persistence of the past, Italics reveals a deep sense of originality and vitality spanning all visual media.
The exhibition examines more than 40 years of revolutionary art production and experimentation and features more than 75 artists and 110 works. The works are displayed in rich and contrasting arrangements to create thought-provoking generational and culturally relevant dialogues. Whether embracing or fighting classical traditions, the featured artists accept social transformation and how it
inspires and impacts their work.
In an attempt to counter a tendency within Italian culture to curb individuality and experimentation, Italics is not arranged chronologically or by artistic movement. Many of the exhibited artists, including Giovanni Anselmo and Lucio Fontana, were greatly influenced by radical social movements such as Arte Povera, a revolution in the late sixties that attempted to rid itself of the conventions and control of government and cultural institutions. Additional featured artists include the acclaimed and often controversial Maurizio Cattelan, Gabriele Basilico, Giuseppe Gabellone, Luisa Lambri, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Mario Ceroli.
The exhibition was on view at Palazzo Grassi in the fall of 2008 and is guest curated by Francesco Bonami, who is the artistic director of the Fondazione Sandretto ReRebaudengo per l'Arte in Turin, Pitti Discovery in Florence, and Villa Manin in Passariano. He previously served as the MCAs Manilow Senior Curator and the Manilow Senior Curator-at-Large. He is also a curator of the 2010 Whitney Biennial in New York. Born in Florence, he has closely followed the movements and development of contemporary Italian art.