Paper Media: Boetti, Calzolari, Kounellis

Paper Media: Boetti, Calzolari, Kounellis

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz

Jannis Kounellis, Segnali [Signals], 1960. Tempera, glue on cartridge paper, courtesy the Olnick Spanu Collection, New York.

September 4, 2019
Paper Media: Boetti, Calzolari, Kounellis
Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jannis Kounellis
August 28–December 8, 2019
Opening: September 7, 5–7pm, Also opening: Tonalism: Pathway from the Hudson River School to Modern Art, and Ukiyo-e Gems from the Collection
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive
12561 New Paltz NY
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T 845 257 3844
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The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and Magazzino Italian Art Foundation announce Paper Media: Boetti, Calzolari, Kounellis, the first-ever exhibition in the United States to focus on works on paper by artists related to the Italian art movement, Arte Povera. 

Guest curated by Francesco Guzzetti, former Scholar-in-Residence at Magazzino, the exhibition convenes rarely seen works on paper from the Olnick Spanu Collection made between 1960 and 1987 by three leading artists associated with the Arte Povera group—Alighiero Boetti (Italy,1940–94), Pier Paolo Calzolari (Italy, b.1943), and Jannis Kounellis (Greece, 1936–2017)—and considers the significance of drawing and print within each artist’s practice, as well as in Italian art and culture in the 1960s and 1970s more broadly.

During a time of general reassessment and fusion of artistic media and genres, Boetti, Calzolari, and Kounellis, alongside other major Arte Povera artists, conducted most of their experiments on paper. Questioning the notion of medium specificity, the huge variety of media, techniques, and sizes of these works reveals the multifaceted role drawings and prints have always had in the work of Arte Povera artists.

Working with various drawing and printing techniques was fundamental to the practices of many Arte Povera artists. In a new development for the period, these artists regarded their works on paper as finished pieces rather than preparatory steps to create an artwork. From Calzolari’s alchemical experimentation with unconventional materials such as rose petals and salt, to Kounellis’ iteration of a new alphabet of signs and images, these works speak to the artists’ embrace of formal and material experimentation and intensive questioning of what it meant to be an artist.

Boetti, Calzolari, and Kounellis conceived of drawing and printmaking as either antique practices or as radically modern fields of negotiation. Encompassing both universal imagery and specific references to the present, these works bear witness to a double vision­—which defines the distinct Italian character of Arte Povera—a split between the influence of current events and the timeless symbols of the human condition. The signs drawn or printed on paper act as immediate, sometimes intimate, imprints of the artists’ own identity. Ultimately, these works give a special insight into the ideal of authenticity envisioned by the artists associated with Arte Povera through their process of “impoverished” artistic expression.

An illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition, focusing on this under-explored area of works on paper from the Arte Povera movement and detailing the history of each work on view.


Saturday, October 26, 2pm
Curator gallery talk with Paper Media: Boetti, Calzolari, Kounellis curator, Francesco Guzzetti

Saturday, November 2, 2pm
Public tour of Fall exhibitions

Sunday, November 17, 2pm
Family day: Exhibition-inspired activities for children and their families in conjunction with Paper Media: Boetti, Calzolari, Kounellis

About The Dorsky Museum
Through its collections, exhibitions and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art supports and enriches the academic programs at the College and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums in the SUNY system. Since its official dedication in 2001, The Dorsky has presented more than 100 exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann, and Ushio Shinohara.

About Magazzino Italian Art Foundation
Magazzino Italian Art Foundation is a museum located in Cold Spring, New York, devoted to Postwar and Contemporary Italian art. Magazzino, meaning warehouse in Italian, was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu.

Designed by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo, the 20,000 square-foot structure was completed in June 2017. Magazzino serves as a resource for scholars and students and offers an extensive library and archive of Italian Art. In addition, Magazzino has become a cultural hub for the vibrant Hudson Valley community thanks to the joint programs with local organizations.

Under the guidance of Director Vittorio Calabrese, his team and its curatorial programs, Magazzino Italian Art bridges collaborations with American and Italian institutions not only to support contemporary Italian artists but also to foster discussions on Postwar and Contemporary Italian Art in the United States.

Admission is free to the public. 

RSVP for Paper Media: Boetti, Calzolari, Kounellis
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz
September 4, 2019

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