Lucio Amelio

Lucio Amelio

Madre Museum

Andy Warhol, Lucio Amelio, 1975. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas. Courtesy Private Collection, Naples.

December 16, 2014

Lucio Amelio
From the Modern Art Agency to the Genesis of Terrae Motus (1965–1982). Documents, works, a history…

November 22, 2014–March 9, 2015
Museo d’arte contemporanea 
Donnaregina–Madre, Naples
Via Settembrini 79
80139 Naples

This exhibition devoted to Lucio Amelio (1931–1994), organized in collaboration with the Archivio Amelio, retraces the history of one of the indisputable protagonists of contemporary art history, who helped make the city of Naples one of the national and international centers of production and artistic reflection in recent decades. But it is also the history of the many artists, collaborators and traveling companions who shared their research with Amelio, and finally, in a certain sense, also the history that leads today to the existence of the Madre museum itself.

The result of meticulous archival research, the exhibition presents key works and contributions by more than 50 artists, including Carlo Alfano, Vito Acconci, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, Alberto Burri, James Lee Byars, Pierpaolo Calzolari, Mario Ceroli, Francesco Clemente, Tony Cragg, Bruno Di Bello, Heiner Dilly, Fabio Donato, Luciano Fabro, Falso Movimento, Lucio Fontana, Mario Franco, General Idea, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Gruppo XX, David Hockney, Mimmo Jodice, Jasper Johns, Jannis Kounellis, Nino Longobardi, Piero Manzoni, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Luigi Ontani, Charlemagne Palestine, Mimmo Paladino, Giulio Paolini, Vettor Pisani, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerard Richter, David Salle, Paolo Scheggi, Mario Schifano, Keith Sonnier, Ernesto Tatafiore, Cy Twombly, Wilhem Von Gloeden, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner and Gilberto Zorio.The entire exhibition is framed by an impressive documentary apparatus consisting of a selection of more than 500 historical documents, many on display for the first time, on loan from the Archivio Amelio and other public and private archives, including autograph letters, exhibition projects and installation sketches, photographs, invitations, posters, books, catalogs, brochures and numbered editions.

In 1965 the opening of Lucio Amelio’s Modern Art Agency at Parco Margherita, a gallery devoted to the most experimental artistic languages ​​and practices at that time, helped bring about a radical breakthrough in the artistic debate then in progress. This took place in a context notable for the activities of critics and curators such as Filiberto Menna, Germano Celant, Achille Bonito Oliva, and other gallerists, patrons and collectors such as Renato Bacarelli and Dina Carola, Peppino Di Bennardo, Graziella Lonardi Buontempo, Giuseppe Morra, Pasquale Trisorio or Marcello and Lia Rumma, these last the promoters of an extraordinary event, the Rassegna di Amalfi, brought to an end in 1968 with the three-day event Arte povera più azioni povere curated by Celant. This discourse, in Amelio’s activity, would be articulated all through the seventies with the production of public art projects, an intense series of publications, support for major institutional exhibitions, including those at Villa Pignatelli and the Royal Palace of Capodimonte, and the organization of pioneering and seminal individual and group exhibitions that marked, among other things, the emergence of Arte Povera and the Transavanguardia. They also explored the differences and analogies between American and European art (exemplified in the gallery’s program by the paradigmatic relations between Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys), developing a research that ranged from conceptual practices to performance, from photography to music and poetry, from cinema to theater, not to mention a constant concern for the Neapolitan art scene and the New Creativity in the South, the practices of feminism and the definitions of gender, down to the critical debate around the role of art institutions, marked by the activity, between the late sixties and early seventies, of the Galleria Inesistente, which targeted Amelio’s Modern Art Agency as a symbol of an art system which was then laying its foundations in Naples.

The establishment in 1982 of the Fondazione Amelio would mark the genesis of another important chapter in this history, both artistic and institutional, namely the Terrae Motus project, the homonymous collection conceived by Amelio to stimulate a response from some of the most important artists of the period to the devastating earthquake in Irpinia (November 23, 1980). Terrae Motus, which confirmed the active and direct engagement of art in the social, civil and cultural context increasingly sought by Amelio and his artists, was meant to be housed in a true museum, located in a wing of the monastic complex of Santa Lucia al Monte in Naples and equipped with exhibition rooms, spaces for residencies, educational activities, laboratories and a library. The architectural and engineering designs of the premises of the Fondazione Amelio museum, “imagined” but not “completed” by Amelio in Naples, symbolically open and close the exhibition at the Madre, presenting the actual contemporary museum of Naples as a conscious and responsible witness to this intellectual and institutional heritage.

Curated by Andrea Viliani
Curatorial Advisor: Paola Santamaria (Archivio Amelio)
Scientific Committee for the exhibition: Anna Amelio, Giuliana Amelio, Achille Bonito Oliva, Michele Bonuomo, Nino Longobardi, Giuseppe Morra, Paola Santamaria, Eduardo Santamaria, Angela Tecce

Lucio Amelio at Madre Museum
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December 16, 2014

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