Young Italians at IIC New York

Sep 15, 2018 759

Magazzino Italian Art and the Italian Cultural Institute in New York are pleased to announce Young Italians, a group exhibition featuring twelve Italian Contemporary artists, curated by Ilaria Bernardi. Opening on September 25, 2018, at the Italian Cultural Institute in 686 Park Ave, New York, NY, Young Italians was conceived as a 50th anniversary tribute to the show of the same name, curated by Alan Solomon, which took place at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Jewish Museum in New York in 1968, featuring the work of twelve young Italian artists of that time.

The exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute, which will run from September 25 until November 1, 2018, will feature twelve Italian artists, under the age of 40, all of whom were either born, grew up in or currently work in Italy. Also included are Italian artists who have moved to New York, in order to examine the extent to which Italian culture is present in their work and the interplay between exact location and displacement.

Italy has had a long and complex history which includes regional differences, variations in language, a wide range of political changes, economic imbalance and art movements. Artists Davide Balliano, Danilo Correale, Irene Dionisio, Antonio Fiorentino, Silvia Giambrone, Domenico Antonio Mancini, Elena Mazzi, Luca Monterastelli, Ornaghi & Prestinari, Gian Maria Tosatti, Eugenia Vanni, and Serena Vestrucci analyze and respond to the current Italian social and political climate but also to Italy’s cultural heritage. These contemporary Italian artists live in the present while seamlessly in the presence of their past. They are conscious of their history and refer to it as they seek a sense of objectives in their art.

Although the purpose of the exhibition is to analyze the status of Italian contemporary art, this is not a comprehensive survey but rather an analysis on the work of twelve artists defined by two common tendencies in their work. Therefore, the artists can be broken down into two groups: I(n)-Arte [I(n)-Art], a group of six artists who have considered Italian art history, and then crossed it, inheriting from it manual skill understood to be the reflection and subjectivization of techniques, materials, and sources of the image. The other group, I(n)-Realtà [I(n)-Reality], does the same but instead uses Italy’s contemporary social, political, environmental, and cultural reality, inheriting the desire to find alternatives to its most cogent problems. The letter “I” that they have in common, goes back to the theme that appears to underlie the works on view: Italy as Image, that is its culture as the origin of creation. All twelve artists seem to conceive art as a visualization, or a consolidation in an object/image, of a specific way of experiencing the Italian culture. The common theme underlying the work of these young Italian artists today is legacy, a reflection on the subjective re-appropriation of one’s cultural horizon.

Similar to the 1968 exhibition Young Italians, this show aims to consider the reasons for thr scant presence abroad of the art of young Italians. The exhibition seeks to support contemporary Italian artists, make them known in the United States, and consider what is unique about contemporary Italian Art today. It also allows for parallels to be drawn between what the contemporary Italian art scene looked like in 1968 and what it looks like now in 2018, offering some ideas about the new directions among younger artists, and shedding light on the unique features and common denominators of the work of young Italian artists today. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by the curator, Ilaria Bernardi and contributions by Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director at the Jewish Museum, Giorgio Van Straten, Director of the Cultural Institute in New York, Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, Co-founders of Magazzino Italian Art.


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