Lin May SaeedEspressioni
Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Rivoli-Torino, Italy
Espressioni. The Proposition includes the works of 50 artists from different periods and many parts of the the world. The artists in this exhibition share an interest in highly expressive – and sometimes expressionist – forms of art.
The artists range from exasperated individualism to romantic melancholy, from deformed interpretations of the body and of the everyday to fierce social critiques. It is as if they feel the need to verify their own vitality in the face of the world’s difficulties. The exhibition layout on the first and third floors of the Castello building, as well as in the Manica Lunga exhibition space, activates unprecedented relationships between artworks of different historical periods, emphasizing the multiple ways in which artists express emotional and bodily states. The exhibition also focuses on techniques and materials across a wide range of painting, sculpture, collage, video, performance and virtual reality projects.
Notable examples of historical artworks included in the exhibition are Simone dei Crocifissi’s Cristo crocifisso tra papa Urbano V e san Giacomo (Crucifixion with Pope Urban V and St James), c. 1395-1399 (Cerruti Collection); Scena Allegorica (Allegorical Scene), c. 1521-1522, by the Mannerist painter Dosso Dossi (Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice); Caravaggio’s Narciso (Narcissus), 1597-1599 (Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica Palazzo Barberini, Rome); La Maddalena penitente (The Penitent Magdalene), c. 1645, by the Baroque painter Andrea Vaccaro and Sansone e Dalila (Samson and Delilah), c. 1630-1638, by Artemisia Gentileschi (Gallerie d’Italia, Naples); the San Lorenzo (St Lawrence), c. 1640-1649, by Jusepe de Ribera; the complete 1863 edition of Francisco Goya y Lucientes’ Desastres de la Guerra (Disasters of War); La Pazza (The Madwoman), 1905, by Giacomo Balla (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Roma) and the Porträt von Viktor Ritter von Bauer (Portrait of Viktor Ritter von Bauer), 1917, by Egon Schiele (Cerruti Collection).
Among the more modern works, Espressioni. The Proposition will also display Due cavalli (Two Horses), 1927, by Giorgio de Chirico (Cerruti Collection), as well as a series of Dogon masks and objects from Mali made between the eighteenth and early twentieth centuries, and a Ngil mask from the Fang civilization of Gabon prior to 1930 (Private Collections). Completing the selection of works is the disruptive gesture of Senza titolo (Untitled), 1956, a collective work by Asger Jorn, Pinot Gallizio, et al. (Fondazione CRC Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo). Contemporary artworks include, among others, Abstrakter Kopf (Abstract Head. Meditation), 1929, by Alexej von Jawlensky (Private Collection, Turin); Tête de Femme (Head of a Woman), 1942, by Pablo Picasso (Cerruti Collection); Donna che si spoglia, 1935 ca., and Das Attentat (The Assassination), 1936, by George Grosz (Private Collection, Turin), Ritratto di Diego (Portrait of Diego), 1954, by Alberto Giacometti ( Collection La Gaia, Busca); the Merda d’Artista (Artist’s Shit), 1961, by Piero Manzoni (Private Collection); Mullberg (Pile of Rubbish), 1984, Fenster (Window), and Ostsee, 2001, by Isa Genzken (Private Collection, Turin); Merkaba Sefer Hechalot, 2002, by Anselm Kiefer (Private Collection, Naples); the carving by Wael Shawky Cabaret Crusades: Relief of the Adoption of Godefroy of Bouillon by Alexios Komnenos, 2016 (Castello di Rivoli); the first work created with virtual reality, Real Violence, 2017, by Jordan Wolfson (Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea – on loan from Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT), as well as artworks by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Bas Jan Ader, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Fabio Mauri, Enzo Cucchi, Emilio Vedova, Anna Boghiguian, Monica Bonvicini, Regina José Galindo, Pierre Huyghe, William Kentridge, Chris Burden, Bracha L. Ettinger, Werner Herzog, Cecily Brown, Beau Dick, Lin May Saeed, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ed Atkins, Goshka Macuga, Cally Spooner, Nalini Malani, Susan Philipsz, Miao Ying, Marzia Migliora, Patrizio Di Massimo and Giuliana Rosso.
Since its origins, art has recorded the great changes of the world, proposed alternative models of knowledge and visions that refuse a passive acceptance of progress as inherently positive. There are many recognizable moments in which scientific and technological revolutions run parallel to expressionist developments in art, starting with the discovery of fire and cave paintings, to continue with the great upheavals brought about by the acceleration of transport and the Copernican revolution, which can be glimpsed in the passage from the Renaissance to Mannerist art, as in the painting Allegorical Scene by Dosso Dossi, up to the restlessness of the Baroque painting of Narcissus by Caravaggio or Samson and Delilah by Artemisia Gentileschi, or the St Lawrence by Jusepe de Ribera. These four works are part of the group exhibition Espressioni and entertain a strong dialog with Sex, the solo exhibition by Anne Imhof that occupies contemporaneously most of the area of the Manica Lunga. In a poetic ensemble of elective affinities, historical works become characters that inhabit Imhof’s exhibition.