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Giovanni Nicolai (continued)

Here is a recent update on Giovanni Nicolai, as i understand he has several exhibitions coming up and as soon as i know the dates i will let you know, but first here are some photographs that i recently received from him. The flat one is the one he was working on a couple of weeks ago, but the one that surprised and fascinated me was this portrait.

nicolai flat

For more information on Giovanni Nicolai do not hesitate to contact me ….and there are some nice draewings for sale at www.ftn.blog.com on the FTN art section.nicolai side

I have added another painting by Giobanni to this post which he send me recently. here is the message he send me:

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Hi Wilfred, I would like to attach some photos of my latest oil paintings on canvas, these photos could be useful to attach to the drawing previously sent, tell me what you think, a greeting from the magical Italy. the first horizontal painting with the female figure is entitled “Contessa Milano” 70X70 cm

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Gilberto Zorio (1944)

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It was in the mid eighties that i first heard of Gilberto Zorio. An Italian artist rooted in the Arte Povera mouvement. At that time we had a book distributor at the Gemeentemuseum who had this impressive catalogue on Zorio. I bought it for the bookshop, but i must have been the only one who admired it, because years later we still had the book andeventually it was sold with  a huge discount. Times have changed, Zorio has now become one of the great names in the Arte Povera and his works fetch high prices at auction. It is not the easiest from of art Zorio makes, but his often huge installations always fascinate me.

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Zorio’s artwork shows his fascination with natural processes, alchemical transformation, and the release of energy. His sculptures, paintings, and performances are often read as metaphors for revolutionary human action, transformation, and creativity. He is known for his use of materials including: incandescent electric light tubes, steel, pitch, motifs, and processes through the use of evaporation and oxidation.

btw. It was the silver one with the red lettering we were stuck with, but i have it now once again available at www.ft-books.com

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Luigi Ontani (1943)

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Like Cindy Sherman, Ontani makes his own image subject in his his works and therefore it is not by coincidence that the Groninger Museum has made n exhibition with Ontani some 20 years ago. Ontani has a natural place in the colection of this Museum, Italian art and a focus on photography are two pillars that made the collection of the Groninger Museum well known all over the world.

After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna Ontani began his artistic career in the 1970s when he became known for his tableau vivants: photographed and videotaped performances in which he presented himself in different ways: from Pinocchio to Dante, Saint Sebastian to Bacchus. These displays of “actionism” (different from Viennese Actionism, to which Hermann Nitsch is associated) verge on kitsch and raise personal narcissism to a higher level.

Throughout his long career Ontani has expressed his creativity and poetics through the use of many different techniques: from his “oggetti pleonastici” (1965–1969), made in plaster, to the “stanza delle similitudini,” made with objects cut in corrugated fiberboard. He has often anticipated the use of techniques subsequently adopted by other artists: his first Super 8 films were made between 1969 and 1972. With his work “Ange Infidele” (1968) Ontani begins to experiment with photography. From the beginning his photography has been characterized by some particular elements: the subject is always the artist himself, who uses his own body and face to personify historic, mythological, literary and popular themes; the chosen formats are usually miniature and gigantography, and each work is considered unique. From the late 1960s on are “Teofania” (1969), “San Sebastiano nel bosco di Calvenzano, d’apres Guido Reni” Tentazione,” “Meditazione, d’apres de la Tour,” “Bacchino” (1970), “Tell il Giovane,” “Raffaello,” “Dante,” ” Pinocchio” (1972), “Lapsus Lupus,” the diptych “EvAdamo” (1973), “Leda e il Cigno” (1974), “I grilli e i tappeti volanti” that will be followed by other “d’apres,” and the first Indian cycle “En route vers l’Inde, d’apres Pierre Lotti.” His first artistic photography has a historic importance because it anticipates a phenomenon that will be widespread and popular from the 1980s.

While working on his photographs Ontani began to make his first tableaux vivants. From 1969 to 1989 the artist made around 30 of these exhibitions, again foreshadowing the so-called interactive installations, which are based on the mixture of various technologies. With this same attitude he has created works in papier-mâché, glass, wood (he has made numerous masks, especially on Bali, with Pule wood) and, more rarely, in bronze, marble, and fabric. He has also made notorious works in ceramic, thanks to the cooperation with Bottega Gatti of Faenza, Venera Finocchiaro in Rome, and the Terraviva laboratory of Vietri: some of them are his “pineal” masks, the “Ermestetiche,” and the last great works such as “GaneshaMusa” and “NapoleonCentaurOntano.”

Ontani has not used all these different techniques as ends in themselves but as occasions to experiment new possibilities and formulate new variations of the themes and subjects that interest him the most: his own “transhistoric” travel through myth, the mask, the symbol and iconographic representation. He has exhibited his works in some of the most important museums and galleries of the world, from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to the Pompidou Centre, the Museo Reina Sofía to the Frankfurter Kunstverein. He has also participated in several editions of the Venice, Sydney, and Lyon biennales. Recently he has had four important retrospectives at the MoMA (2001), the SMAK in Ghent (2003–2004), the MAMbo in Bologna (2008), and the Accademia di San Luca, also called the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, in Rome (2017). The retrospective in Rome marks his receiving the Premio Presidente della Repubblica award in 2015.

Part from thnis blog comes from the WIKIPEDIA page on Ontani

www.ftn-books.com has the most important Ontani publication on stock.