Art on Sundays with Cocktail
ART ON SUNDAYS | MARIO MERZ
L’abbiamo accesa (al neon!) perché nella nostra lunga domenica non ci passasse di mente
We turned it on (in neon!) so that during our long Sunday we wouldn’t forget
Sunday 3 February 2019, 6 PM – Book now
Over the course of the 1950s, while neon was becoming an integral part of modern city life thanks to the dissemination of bright advertising signs, many artists started examining its physical, linguistic, and conceptual potentials. In the United States, neon was mostly used by artists who were close to Minimalism and Conceptual art, like Joseph Kosuth, Bruce Nauman and Dan Flavin. In Italy, an interest in the environmental and physical qualities of light was shared by many artists, who began experimenting with the use of the “fluorescent tube” in the 1960s: from geometric abstraction and optical effects to experiments conducted with neon in the field of language. The choice of combining neon with other materials – especially natural ones – typified the practice of many of the artists who were members of the Arte Povera movement. Toward the late 1960s, Mario Merz presented works featuring vegetable or metallic elements, or everyday objects, adding neon lights to them. Technology, according to the artist, was vital energy, and the symbolic manifestation of the idea of transformation. This visit, which is supported by the screening of photographic documentary material, has been conceived to trace back over the use of neon within the contemporary artistic scene, referring to some of the most emblematic examples: from Minimalist culture to Arte Povera, all the way to the work of more recent artists like Massimo Bartolini, Maurizio Cattelan, Douglas Gordon, Alfredo Jaar, Maurizio Nannucci, Bruce Nauman and Cerith Wyn Evans.
A cultural mediator will oversee this event, which also involves the screening of documentary material and an in-depth guided tour of the exhibition. It will be followed by a drink at the Iuta Bistrot for all those participating in the visit.