artist / participant
All of Giovanni Rizzoli's work is eclectic and resists a precise definition. It displays a tendency toward equilibrium, which it achieves in different ways, according to how successful or suggestive the materials are and the tools that he is using. The diversity of the instruments employed, or their contemporary nature, are never permitted to obscure their intrinsic characteristics. So, if to make a drawing Rizzoli uses a piece of seaweed from the Venetian lagoon, or the pigment of a flower, or his own shit, it is without any desire to shock, the artist surprises himself valuing these elements in terms of his own personal experience. Everything may be claimed by Giovanni Rizzoli to constitute a part of art's domain, without creating an aura of provocation, even for the artist himself. The absolute freedom of the artist no longer creates scandal, that's why Rizzoli turns back, to seek a meaning beyond provocation, not letting himself be blocked at the surface. By using less neutral materials - grounded bricks, make up, seaweed, blood, shit - the latter the very stuff of a psychological and intellectual being, his own secretions, and the former those of his culture (the weed from the Venetian lagoon which might have created Turner's vapors in the watercolors he dedicated to Venice, the brick used by some Roman who might have built a house). Giovanni Rizzoli shows a relationship with the history of art stronger than that with his own history and he does it in the name of beauty; he uses classical images together with their contemporary opposite (a situation not so different to that declared by Yves Klein, who held himself to be Giotto's contemporary, or of Vincenzo Agnetti who, in much the same way, when presenting a Piero Manzoni exhibition in 1959, affirmed that "all painters from Giotto to Mondrian were born on the same day, and the only thing they have left us worthy of eternal assimilation is the will and the strength to make art"). Giovanni Rizzoli has the same consistence in carrying art and life together. He says that his first "conscious drawing" was made when he was 7 years old and since then he has not stopped making art. Certainly he still has that same open mind, and still there is a fair impertinence to Rizzoli's way of using every possible material, every object, every riveting subject, an impertinence that would make the best of the avantguarde jealous.
Giovanni Rizzoli was born in 1963 in Venice, Italy. His work has most recently been exhibited in the Venice Biennale 1999 and in the Klein Sculpture Triennale in Stüttgart, Germany 1998. In the past years Rizzoli has shown extensively in Museums and Galleries in Europe, such as Museo Immaginario, Domodossola (1991), Stadtiche Galerie Göppingen, Germany (1996) Galerie Ars Futura, Zurich (1992), Galerie Luciano Fasciati, Chur, Switzerland (1995), Galleria Pinta and Galleria Unimedia, Genova (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999) Galleria Nuova Icona, Venice and Galleria Scognamiglio e Teano, Naples, Italy (1997) and Galerie Jan Wagner in Berlin, Germany (1998) among others. He is a Doctor in Art History and was the International Visiting Scholar at the New York University in 1997 and 1998.
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