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Major Bruno Di Bello Retrospective Opens at Fondazione Marconi
Bruno Di Bello, Aut-Aut, 1971, photographic canvas, 120 x 180 cm. Museo del Novecento, Napoli.

MILAN.- On Wednesday 15 September Fondazione Marconi presented a big retrospective of Bruno Di Bello. The exhibition is displayed on the four floors of Spazio Marconi and covers the whole activity of the artist from his first experiences between painting and photography during the Sixties, to the Mec-Art period, to the big canvas where he mixes writing and photography until his recent digital abstraction works.

Bruno Di Bello artistic activity began when he joined Gruppo ’58 in Neaples, but his work differred from that of his mates because he was much more interested in abstract art, oriented towards a setting to zero of painting. In 1966 he had his first solo show at Lucio Amelio Gallery. In this period he began his first experiments with photography, he transferred on light-sensitive canvas images like the Moshe Dayan face (Studio per ritratto di condottiero, 1965) or other protagonists of that period.

In 1967 he moved to Milan and he settled down in “Quartiere delle Botteghe” in Sesto San Giovanni, at that time home for a lot of artists. In 1968 he joined Mec-Art, whose leader was Pierre Restany.

Di Bello researched the possibility of deconstructing the image, doing omage to his artistic myth (Klee, Duchamp, Man Ray, Mondrian and the Russian Constructivists), so he developed an idea of art as a reflection on history of art, especially on the icons of the modern movement, but at the same time as a reflection on the structure of the image itself. The artist selects a medium different from painting: the light-sensitive canvas on which he fixes the image with light, and then he deconstructs the image giving the viewer the possibility to recompose it.

Then he continued his experiments on the photographic canvas as a research on writing: wide white grid where he broke down a world or a single letter o an artist’ signature and then reduced it to an aseptic black pattern as in Variazioni sulla firma di Klee, 1975 or in Procedimento, 1974.

During the Seventies and the Eighties he began drawing directly on the light-sensitive canvas with the light of a pile. Later in the Eighties he discovered a new way to use the light: he placed people and object between the light source and the canvas where the subjects projected their shadow and then he used thick brushstrokes as in Apollo e Dafne nel terremoto, made especially for the exhibition Terrae motus set up by Lucio Amelio in 1967 (it was shown at the Grand Palais in Paris and now it is situated in Reggia di Caserta).

From the Ninenties Di Bello studied new technologies, doing research on synthetic images, on digital photographies and on the new kind of geometry displayed by computers. The visual forms studied by Di Bello came from theoretical mathematical structure. The images that rise from these studies and experiments are the so called “frattali”.

The show documents Bruno Di Bello research in that course of progressive “art dehumanisation” so called and theorized by Mario Costa, a neapolitan philosopher, that writes about the artist: “Bruno Di Bello has understood that the height of the aseity of the image, for its logical and so theorethical nature, coincide with the maximum of its icyness, what he has been researching for all his life. He understood that digital images refer either to any subjects or any objects, they have no reference and they have no object. They have to be considered as models, as new thing with wich comparing on the aesthetic level.

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