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Giovanni Nicolai (continued)

Next June 2018 the former students of the Art Academy in Bari will have their yearly show. Among them is is Giovanni Nicolai to whom i devoted a blog about a year ago. You never know when you are going to visit the beautiful Bari region, but keep in mind that beside  great olive oil , food and some wines there is also some modern art to see.

Giovanni Nicolai will be among them with some exquisite paintings and drawings, which show his strength. Portraits of elegant gentleman, classic Italian profiles and great technique make these stand out from the others. A baroque artist in nowadays Italian art scene is rare and for those who like Italian art, these works are well worth to check out.

The second exhibition in which Giovanni will have  a presence is in the SO art gallery in Milano. If i have more information on both exhibitions i will let my readers know.

here is the first link to the exhibition:

IMPRINTING (EX ArcheoModernitas) Una Rivista una Mostra

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Antoni Tapies (1923-2012)

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It must have been some 12 years ago that i first visited Barcelona and found myself amazed and surprised by this city full of Gaudi and other modernista marvels, but the best find for me was the discovery and first visit of the Fundacio Antoni Tapies.

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The building itself is already worth visiting and the inside is even more spectacular. An old facade houses a very modern museum inside which houses the works donated by Antoni and Theresa Tapies. I loved its collection and it proved to me that Tapies his art is timeless, very spanish and cosmopolitan at the same time. Tapies is possibly , next to Picasso and Dali , the most important spanish name in Modern Art. He often uses large canvasses and on them paints with “earth” colors impressive abstract compositions and uses  matter in them.

In these matter paintings , the materials used are no longer simple media used to express an idea; they are the idea itself. That process produces a complete identification between material and form, between concept and language. Those works become opaque surfaces, walls on which the artist writes his graffiti and attaches the forms of objects or people. His identification with the work through his surname (in Catalan Tàpies means “walls”) expresses a more profound desire to break with Western dualism and blend with the material in a continuous formlessness.
Over the post-war years there was a general interest among artists on both sides of the Atlantic in material. Awareness of the atomic bomb and the new scientific discoveries aroused a strong curiosity in science, the new ideas about space-time and substance, while inventions such as the electronic microscope provided a new view of nature.
At the same time, Tàpies had developed an interest in Eastern philosophy, because of its emphasis on material, the identity between man and nature and its denial of the dualism of our society.

There are some excellent Tapies publications available at

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Paya …Tin Toys in La Casa Modernista/Novelda

It was a long time ago that i first found a toy by Paya, the spanish TinToy factory whose tin toys are now collected all over the world. Unfortunately it was not a “first” edition but a reedition of one of their most famous toys “The General Omnibus”. It was the first i found and since  i have been searching for these wonderful toys. They are made of tin , but within these limitations, almost every subject was possible. Cars, planes, motorbikes, racing cars, busses, street sweepers…..and all made by Paya. Nostalgic feelings could not have been the origin of this fascination, because these were originally made well before the time i was born, but there is something different that appeals. The colors and the subjects and of course the fact that moving winding mechanisms are used within these tin toys make these similar to moving sculptures. like to ones made by Jean Tinguely. Pull away the tin plates from the toy and then there is a raw simple winding mechanism which can be wound and which is frequently used in modern art to move  the subjects  (for example in the moving sculptures from the sixties). Springs and winding mechanisms, the same as in the Paya toys, are used to, make parts and even complete sculptures, move. In any case PAYA is well worth collecting and if by any chance you are traveling the region of Alicante in Spain…visit la Casa Modernista in Novelda. On the top floor you will find a very large collection of TinToys of which many are made by Paya.