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How beautiful Naples is... every corner, street and monument, its full of history and beauty. Thanks to a very far-sighted class, often part of the ancient aristocracy belonging to the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the city in the past as now its essential destination for important masters, collectors and worldwide art lovers.

Today we will guide you inside the Donnaregina Palace where the Donnaregina Foundation for Contemporary Art, between 2004/05, founded what today we know as Madre Museum. If during this summer break you'll be nearby Naples, maybe during a typical Italian "Grand Tour", you can't miss a visit at this art space, and most of all, to the latest exhibition dedicated to Pier Paolo Calzolari titled "Painting as a Butterfly", open from 6 June until 30 September 2019. Never miss our Summer Art Guides...

Born in Bologna in 1943, Pier Paolo Calzolari is one of the most important contemporary Italian artist, exponent since the Sixties of the researches related to Arte Povera. The exhibition at the Madre, organized in close collaboration with Fondazione Calzolari and curated by Achille Bonito Oliva and Andrea Villani, is the first major retrospective dedicated exclusively to the pictorial and drawing production of the artist. 


Pier Paolo Calzolari, Senza titolo, 1978-1997. Lisbon private collection. Photo © Michele Alberto Sereni


Starting from the third floor, after an incipit configured as a real "painting chamber" - where the viewer is immersed in an all-encompassing environment, in which the pictorial surface acquires a real consistency and three - dimensional architectural articulation - the exhibition path is organized according to a chronological criterion and divided into thematic groups. The first room includes some works from the late Sixties with the document a subtle reinterpretation, in a scenographic and imaginative key, of the New Dada and the North American Pop Art, which the artist had the opportunity to see at the 1964 Venice Biennal. Every Biennal is special, read more about the latest ones --> The 58th Venice Biennale… - The 10 “to go” at the Venice Biennale 2019!

The following path describers the artist's pictorial research between the Sixties and Seventies and the evolution, in the artworks formalization, setting out a painting experience which is as much intellectual as it is sensory. The central room of the third floor is an "expiation" to the chronological criterion adopted in the exhibition path, an example: the large canvas Monocromo Blu (1979) faces the most recent triptych Haïku (2007). The end of the third-floor exhibition is dedicated to the Capricci series, an artist's image to the Venetian Baroque of the 18th Century. We already spoke about contemporary Baroque reinterpretation, don't miss our article about The Baroque vision of Luc Tuymans...


Pier Paolo Calzolari, Senza titolo, 2014-2015. Lisbon private collection. Photo © Michele Alberto Sereni


Pier Paolo Calzolari, Valori Plastici C, 2005. Lisbon private collection. Photo © Michele Alberto Sereni


The exhibition path on the second floor comprises the frescoed room by Francesco Clemente and the four Facade Galleries, presenting Natura Morta (2008) and other works that testify not only the deep knowledge but also the substantial reinvention of the art history, that in the background animates the whole pictorial, sculptural and performative production of Calzolari: Omaggio a Fontana (1988), the work-performance Hommage (2001), Valori Plastici C and Donald Duck (2005), an almost ironic hypothesis of an altarpiece that transcends the Pop Art with a comic strip subject. 

Finally, on the ground floor, in the Re_PUBBLICA Madre Gallery, the final section of the exhibition is introduced by a collection of preparatory drawings dating back to the second half of the Sixties and by more recent works on paper, such us Il mio letto così cone deve essere (1968-2014) or Flauto dolce per farmi suonare (1967-1968). At the end of this elaborate reconstruction of Calzolari artistic poetics, the exhibition intent is to explore the possible relationship between research lines historiographically reputed as opposed, like Arte Povera and Transavanguardia.  

Cover image Pier Paolo Calzolari, Mangiafuoco, 1979 Private collection Photo © Michele Alberto Sereni

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

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