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I can clearly remember when one of my favourite teachers at the university said to the class: "Art is an obsession! There is no great artist, as well as a great critic, if art is not the reason for living ", now I can add: "The indispensable filter for observing the world. When through this teacher I had the opportunity to clash in the story of Fabio Mauri, I understood that in life there are encounters that change you forever.

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First of all, when we are talking about Fabio Mauri the ideological theme becomes the object of artistic research. Born in Rome, April 1, 1926, the artist fully experienced the Second World War, an event that leaves an indelible mark on his biographical and artistic experience. Philosopher, poet, writer, throughout his career Mauri, has been closely linked to philosophical research, aimed by investigating the presence of man in the world and his relationship with historical events. In this rigorous investigation, poised between poetry and history, ideology theme is not intended only as a political commitment, as is customary to think, but as a category of thought and because of that, it undergoes a constant evolution parallel to the artist search evolution.

                 

From left to right Schermi in legni bianchi, 1959 - Schermo fine, - © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo.
 

Works of the 70s are referred to ideology and forms of National Socialism born before, during and after the Second World War. More than works, we care in front of studies that have taken shape over time through various media including video, performance, installations, and prototypes. But taking a step back a figure that is necessary to mention for Mauri's artistic-cultural formation, is Pier Paolo Pasolini, literary, director, playwright, important Italian intellectual, to whom the artist often had looked until the end of his career (Rome, May 19, 2009).

 

Ideologia e Natura, 1973 . © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo


 

Che cosa è il fascismo, 1971 © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo

 

Gran Serata Futurista 1909 -1930, 1980. © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo

 

Indeed, Pasolini himself has presented Mauri at the Aureliana Gallery in Rome during his first solo show in 1955. A decisive moment for the artist, in which he develops research linked to the screen as a new true "symbolic form" of the world. A topic that in the first artistic approach was showed through monochrome canvases, and which over time is transformed into a mental form that crosses all of Mauri's work and binds him much also to the cinema, in all of its aspects. It was 1964 when the artist, in his reflection on the specificities of European culture, identified his answer in the theme of ideology. “I reflected on my biography and I realized how much strong was the memory linked with the war historical reality. I had removed all this pain as a great accident, now I faced it again, "says the artist. 
 

Ebrea 1971. © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo

 

Ideologia e Natura, 1973. © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo

 

From this awareness are born the famous performances of the 70s, such as Ebrea (1971), Gran Serata Futurista 1909 -1930, 1980, Ideologia e Natura 1973, and Che cosa è il Fascismo (1971). Thi last one born in Rome in the Safa Palatino factories and presented next in Venice (1974), New York (1979), Prato (1993) and Klagenfurt (1997). "The ideological theme as a central and historical object for the artist (an artist seen as intellectual), a point of reality outside of him and within the culture of the time, has occupied me since 1964, as a reflection. As a job since 1970 ". (Fabio Mauri 80's)
 

1975–Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, a cura di Franco Solmi. © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo

 

Fabio Mauri, Il Muro Occidentale o del Pianto (The Western or the Wailing Wall),1993. 400 x 400 x 60 cm.
Installation view, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e contemporánea, Bergamo, 2005. Photo/ Matteo Bonaldi.  © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo

 

Another important aspect sees the artist involved in the publishing world. Mauri founded in 1967 "Quiindici magazine" with Umberto Eco, Edoardo Sanguineti and Angelo Guglielmi, and was president for the house publisher Messaggerie and Garzanti. In 1968 he founded the art magazine "The City of Riga" with Alberto Boatto, Maurizio Calvesi, Jannis Kounellis, Umberto Silva. So the artist creates a unique relationship between the dimension of performance and the space of history. An example of that is the use of the body as a screen for the work "The Gospel according to Matthew" in which at the Modern Art Gallery in Bologna Pasolini himself, seated on a chair with a white shirt, had his own film (with the homonymous title) projected onto his chest. His first retrospective was in 1994 at National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome (a very important institution for the artist), followed by a second one in 1997 at the Kusthalle in Klagenfurt, a third, in 2003 in Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, (Lille) and a fourth in 2016, at the MADRE Museum of contemporary art Donnaregina (Naples).
 

Cover image: Senza Titolo, 1992. © 2020 Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo.

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.
 

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