The exhibition New Realisms: 1957-1962 focuses on one of the most important periods of changes in art during the twentieth century, beginning with the completion of Modernism and ending during the peak of Postmodernism. This period brings together a heterogeneous multiplicity of decisive manifestations and creates a new discourse on art and its contexts, leaving Abstraction and the mastery of painting behind. At this time interest shifts from the conventional art object to processes, while questioning the production systems and the consumption of art; the foundations for a great change in the paradigms of art during the sixties are laid.
If the forties and fifties saw the rise of abstract painting, the next decade was witness to a burst of artistic practices in what is "real". In this exhibition the spectator witnesses the artistic adjustment of new expressive strategies: action and performances that makes these years of experimentation one of the most fertile stages at a creative level, and which would extend its mark to future artistic expressions. It is the moment for an experimental art of sorts, made with new materials and often of a temporary nature, with a strong emphasis on the spectator’s role. They are creations that no longer look for their space in the great museums, but in the streets and in small galleries on either side of the Atlantic, which will be revealed as privileged platforms for advanced art from 1960 onwards.
New Realisms: 1957-1962 decisively captures the early years of creation and brings together work by European and American artists with parallel paths. The period begins in January 1957 with the opening of the Yves Klein: Proposte Monocrome, Epoca Blu exhibition in Milan and ends with the vital and international explosion of the Fluxus movement in 1962 which emerges without being ascribed to any particular country. The recovery of European creativity is linked with the geopolitical logic of the moment. New York is no longer the guardian of modern art and in Europe Milan and Stockholm also enter the stage along with Paris and London. Although the title of the exhibition could be associated to the Nouveau Réalisme group of artists, the plural refers to the experience of the 'real', it is as plural as are the proposals by Raymond Hayns, Jean Tinguely, Allan Kaprow, Piero Manzoni, Christo or the décollagistes Mimmo Rotella and Raymond Hains.