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Bochner Boetti Fontana
October 2, 2020 - January 11, 2021Free
Bochner Boetti Fontana examines parallel artistic movements of the 1960s and 1970s in both the United States and Italy through the artwork of Mel Bochner, Alighiero Boetti, and Lucio Fontana. Curated by Bochner in collaboration with Magazzino Italian Art, the exhibition marks the first presentation to consider the American artist’s extensive, yet overlooked, engagement with the practices of Fontana and Boetti, as well as with Italian art at large.
One of the most celebrated figures in Conceptual art, Bochner was, at first, best received in Italy, where he has spent a significant amount of time throughout his career. He had an early solo exhibition at the Galleria Gian Enzo Sperone in Turin in 1970, an important gallery for Arte Povera, and was included in Germano Celant’s now canonical exhibition Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Land Art of the same year. Works by Bochner included in the exhibition—such as Meditation on the Theorem
of Pythagoras (1972/1993), which features pieces of Murano glass that had been left in Fontana’s studio after the artist’s death and previously used to complete his famous buchi (hole) paintings— register the artist’s long-term, but understudied, engagement with both Boetti and Fontana. They additionally form a broader link between Bochner’s practice and Italian art, history, and culture.
The incorporation of key works by Boetti and Fontana further communicates this unique connection while simultaneously initiating an essential dialogue that illuminates parallels between the artistic movements that developed on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1960s and 1970s: Spatialism and Arte Povera in Italy, and Process and Conceptual art in the United States.
The exhibition examines, through the artist’s perspective, the formal, conceptual, and procedural affinities and resonances between his work and that of the Italian and Italian-Argentine artists, including: an exploration of systems, language,
and materials; an examination and interrogation of space and relation; and a sense of irony and humor, often and especially shared by Arte Povera and Conceptualism.
Bochner Boetti Fontana features paintings, sculptures, and installations, including works from Bochner’s personal archive, as well as major international loans. This exhibition speaks to the central theme of Magazzino’s 2020 season, which reveals the international resonances of postwar and contemporary Italian art within a broader global perspective. Bochner Boetti Fontana is presented with the support of the Archivio Alighiero Boetti and Fondazione Lucio Fontana.