press release

VENICE 1948-1986: THE ART SCENE. PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE ARCHIVIOARTE FONDAZIONE MODENA, on show from February 5 to May 21, 2006, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero presents unpublished and remarkable photographs that will take visitors on an extraordinary journey through the artistic milieu of the Venice Biennale from 1948 to 1986 with artists such as Picasso, Mattisse, Dalí, Vedova, Fontana, and Rauschenberg. In their time these photographs were featured in magazines such as Time and Life. Nowadays, this photo-reportage forms a remarkable contribution to the history of postwar culture.

The exhibition features over 150 photographs selected from 12,000 negatives acquired by the ArchivioArte Fondazione—a new project undertaken by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena—from the Venetian photographic agency Cameraphoto. The ArchivioArteFondazione gathers unpublished correspondence, photographs, and personal archives of artists with the purpose of making them available to the public, thus becoming a center for academic study and scholarly consultation.

VENICE 1948-1986: THE ART SCENE takes the viewer through the various historical phases of the Venice Biennale which are now part of the historical heritage of Venice's most prized international art exhibition. Photographs feature internationally renowned artists such as Braque, Chagall, Moore, Léger, Ernst, Arp, Zadkine, Dufy, Mathieu, Oldenburg, Lichtenstein, Kusama, Beuys, LeWitt, as well as numerous Italian artists, such as De Dominicis, Kounellis, Viani, Marini, Birolli, Guttuso, Moreni, Tancredi, Consagra, Capogrossi, Baj, Castellani, Scheggi, Accardi, Mari among others. The photographs capture the artistic climate and fervour of those years with inaugurations of national pavilions and performances, such as those by Jerzy Grotowsky, Julian Beok, Luca Ronconi, and Meredith Monk during the 1970s.

These photographs offer an opportunity to art historians and students alike as documents of key moments in the history of art, such as the 1964 exhibition of American painters (Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella and John Chamberlain) at the former American Consulate in Venice—a critically important show which informed the development of art in subsequent years and helped shape the response to Pop Art. These photographs are historical texts, exact testimonies and records of the works exhibited at the Biennale of unique collateral events, such as that of George Mathieu painting his Battle of Lepanto at the Galleria del Cavallino in the fall of 1959.

VENICE 1948-1986: THE ART SCENE is served by a 300-page volume documenting 900 images and expanding upon the content of the exhibition. The account of the exciting times chronicled in the volume will provide the opportunity to relive or rediscover the art scene from the post-war period to 1980s. The fashion and styles of the times add another level of comprehension to the images, which were intended, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s, to illustrate a world rapidly changing thanks in part to avant-garde art. Such images depicting the fashions of the times can be witty, such as that of the model peering into one of Fontana's Spatial Concepts, or that of Giacometti staring at a model distracted by his elongated sculptures, or that of Yayoi Kusama surrounded by the translucent spheres of her Narcissus Garden.

VENICE 1948-1986: THE ART SCENE is the fifth collaboration between the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Modena and the first to be held in Venice following four shows organized by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Modena, where INFORMEL: JEAN DUBUFFET AND EUROPEAN ART FROM 1945-1970 is presently on display until April 9, 2006. VENICE 1948-1986: THE ART SCENE strengthens the collaboration with the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Modena introducing to an international audience the value of the ARCHIVIOARTE FONDAZIONE.

180 January, 2006


only in german

Venice 1948-1986: the art scene
Photographs from the ArchivioArte Fondazione Modena
Kurator: Luca Massimo Barbero

Werke von Carla Accardi, Hans Arp, Julian Beck, Joseph Beuys, Renato Birolli, Georges Braque, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Enrico Castellani, Marc Chagall, John Chamberlain, Jim Dine, Gino de Dominicis, Raoul Dufy, Max Ernst, Jerzy Grotowsky, Renato Guttuso, Jasper Johns, Jannis Kounellis, Yayoi Kusama, Fernand Léger, Sol Le Witt, Roy Lichtenstein, Enzo Mari, Marino Marini, Georges Mathieu, Meredith Monk, Henry Moore, Mattia Moreni, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Luca Ronconi, Paolo Scheggi, Tancredi , Lorenzo Viani, Ossip Zadkine