"The Seventies. Art in Rome"

The work of some eighty Italian and international artists will be coming together to celebrate a decade, the 'seventies, and a city, Rome, in an exhibition ("The Seventies. Art in Rome") plunging visitors back into an era enlivened by a combination of different idioms on an experimental stage set, an all-embracing basin of different visual cultures in a maelstrom of events of international importance, yet successfully clinging to its own unique identity.

With this initiative, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni intends to pursue an exploration which began back in the 'nineties with a series of exhibitions devoted to Rome, but at the same time it will be completing an analysis that first got off the ground in 1995 with a book and a documentary exhibition entitled Rome on Show 1970-1979. Materials for the documentation of exhibitions, actions, performances and debates.
Jannis Kounellis, Senza titolo, Galleria La Salita, Rome 1973
© Photo Claudio Abate
The 1970s were a controversial decade generally associated with turmoil and conflict, yet it is a decade that can also be seen as fertile and constructive, and it was marked - especially in Rome - by adherence to visual values and to the independence and universality of works of art. The exhibition, based on the research that preceded it, sets out to illustrate this aspect by adopting a balanced position midway between historical investigation and interpretation.

The exhibition will offer the visitor a broad overview based both on celebrated works and artists and on less well-known but significant aspects, while also providing a specific, multifaceted version of events.

The undisputed stars of the whole exhibition will be the works of art themselves, all of which were produced or shown in Rome in the 'seventies, thanks to the presence of a vigorous selection of artists and to the dynamic energy of an outstanding collection of galleries and cultural associations such as Fabio Sargentini's L'Attico, Plinio De Martiis' La Tartaruga, Gian Tomaso Liverani's La Salita, Gian Enzo Sperone, Konrad Fischer, Ugo Ferranti, the Incontri Internazionali d'Arte founded in 1970 by Graziella Lonardi Buontempo and curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, and many more, to which, of course, we should add the activity of the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna and of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni itself.

The exhibition will be shining the spotlight on the work of artists whose careers got off the ground either as the 'sixties drew to a close or in the course of the 'seventies: Gino De Dominicis, Vettor Pisani, Luigi Ontani, Salvo, Ketty La Rocca, Michele Zaza, Sandro Chia, Carlo Maria Mariani, Ettore Spalletti, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Ferruccio De Filippi, Maurizio Benveduti, Tullio Catalano e Franco Falasca con il loro Ufficio per l'immaginazione preventiva, il collettivo Videobase, Francesco Matarrese, Tomaso Binga, Verita Monselles, Suzanne Santoro, Gianfranco Notargiacomo, Franco Vaccari, Albero Garutti, Mimmo Germanà, Laura Grisi, Bruno Ceccobelli, Stefano Di Stasio, Franco Piruca, Vittorio Messina, Giuseppe Salvatori, Felice Levini. The backbone of the exhibition will consist of artists of different generations working in the 'seventies who produced major works of art, fully-fledged milestones in art history, or who, either continuing to work in the furrow of their own style or adopting a different approach to their idiom, managed to hang on to the privilege of excellence: Jannis Kounellis, Giulio Paolini, Alighiero Boetti, Luciano Fabro, Giuseppe Penone, Giovanni Anselmo, Maurizio Mochetti, Eliseo Mattiacci, Vincenzo Agnetti, Luca Patella, Nicola Carrino, Enrico Castellani, Marco Gastini, Marisa Merz, Mario Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Prini, Gilberto Zorio, Hidetoshi Nagasawa, Ettore Innocente, Fausto Melotti, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Carla Accardi, Giulio Turcato, Mario Schifano, Tano Festa, Fabio Mauri, Giosetta Fioroni, Sergio Lombardo, Cesare Tacchi, Renato Mambor, Gianfranco Baruchello. The exhibition will be giving pride of place to those artists who worked in Rome and whose work is best loved by the younger generations: Alberto Burri, Giorgio de Chirico and Cy Twombly. Alongside these masters' work, the exhibition will be showcasing the work of some of the most assiduously present and signficant international artists: Joseph Beuys, Daniel Buren, Sol LeWitt, Joseph Kosuth, Richard Nonas, Richard Tuttle, Gilbert & George, Christian Boltanski, Jan Dibbets, Hamish Fulton, Douglas Huebler, Jean Le Gac, Richard Long, Niele Toroni, Lawrence Weiner, Francesca Woodman, Michael Badura, Bill Beckley, Jochen Gerz, Peter Hutchinson, Urs Lüthi, Katharina Sieverding, André Cadere e altri. Their work on display will dialogue with that of Italian artists in the exhibition just as it did in the fabric of the city in the 'seventies.
Photography will be playing a major role in the exhibition, with work by Ugo Mulas, Claudio Abate, Mario Cresci, Elisabetta Catalano, Tano D’Amico, Duane Michals. New artistic idioms such as video art will also be showcased through the work of a number of artists, of Italian videomaker Luciano Giaccari.
Taking into account the complexity of the visual arts panorama as it unfolded in Rome in the 'seventies, the exhibition will be hosting a polyphony of different voices exemplifying the various different schools and styles, from Arte Povera to the artists of the so-called Roman school, from Conceptual Art to Minimalism and Analytical Painting, from the Situationists to Anarchitecture and art as collective participation or political militancy, and from Narrative Art to the works that prompted a planetwide reassessment of painting around the Transavanguardia, with Rome for its nerve centre.
However, the exhibition layout will only partly reflect categories already accepted and digested by art history. While such categories will of course be afforded consideration and highlighted, certain works of art will be displayed in accordance with different rationales in an attempt to map out an interpretative hypothesis and to contribute to defining a new historical narrative.

Palazzo delle Esposizioni - Rome
11 October 2013 - 2 February 2014 
curated by Daniela Lancioni

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