Pino Pascali (Polignano a Mare, Italy, 1935 - Rome, 1968), whose eclecticism makes him one of the great figures of the Italian art scene directly related with the Arte Povera, had a premature end in 1968 when the artist dies in a motorcycle accident, motorcyles were one of his great passions. However, in the thirty-three years he lived, Pino Pascali left a remarkable set of works that are part of important museums worldwide.
For this exhibition at the Palacio de Velázquez del Parque del Retiro more than seventy works have been collected to trace the different areas the Italian artist worked in. Advertising graphic designer, set designer and actor for RAI during his first years in Rome. In the Sixties Pascali begins to give ample evidence of his assimilation to Pop Art and Minimalism primarily through his sculptural creations.
This exhibition's core is his sculptures exhibited between 1965 and 1968 at the spaces La Tartaruga y L’Attico in Rome and Sperone in Turin and which led him to be considered one of the most interesting artists of his generation. Eighteen of the works on display were selected from the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna collections in Rome among which stand out the famous Cornice di fieno (1967) and Botole ovvero Lavori in corso (1967) which was also exhibited in the room dedicated to Pascali in the Venice Biennale 1968.
Other important pieces in Pascali’s career include Vedova blue (1968) from the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna; Cascate (1966) from the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg and Le Penne di Esopo (1968) from the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
A number of exercises: collage, tempera, pencil, pastel and ink on photographs and acetate are added to the sculptures, nineteen of which belong to the series Africa (1964), as well as illustrations, sketches, studies and scene creations by the artist which serve as a starting point for the interventions that follow. With the aim of documenting some of Pascali’s performances four video tapes are projected; Pascali acting the Punchinello in 1963, Claudio Abate and Paolo Matteucci’s vision of the artist filmed on 12 mm, produced in 1965 and entitled Pino Pascali, improvised pagan rituals on myths about land and sea celebrated by the artist and immortalised by Luca Patella in SKMP from 1968 and Terra Animata from 1967.
Finally, the exhibition includes photographs taken by Abate where the renowned photographer reveals Pascali's sculptures most personal details and a series of photographs by Ugo Mulas which testify to the artist's overwhelming personality.
This exhibition takes place at the XVIII Cultural Cooperation Programme as a continuation of the La avanguardie spagnole. Il secolo di Picasso nelle collezioni del Reina Sofia di Madrid exhibition presented in 1999 at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome.
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Néstor Sanmiguel Diest
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Against the Extravagance of Desire
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