March 16, 2008 - MAMbo - Museum of Modern Art of Bologna - Spazio GAM, Focus on Contemporary Italian Art, Luigi Ontani, Guyton\Walker and Ding Yi
March 16, 2008

Spazio GAM, Focus on Contemporary Italian Art, Luigi Ontani, Guyton\Walker and Ding Yi

Spazio GAM
Focus on Contemporary Italian Art

From March 15th, 2008 on

Luigi Ontani
January 25 – May 4, 2008

January 25 – March 30, 2008

Ding Yi
January 25 – March 30, 2008

MAMbo-Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna
Via Don Minzoni 14
40121 Bologna
info [​at​]

Spazio GAM
The MAMbo-Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna has inherited from its predecessor – Gallery of Modern Art (GAM) – a considerable collection from the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. This collection is characterized by a discontinuous nature, as the cultural agenda of the GAM was fragmentary and ramified over the decades of its history. The opening of the MAMbo and the foreseen revision of the institutional grounds of Bologna’s museums now offer the opportunity to establish different guidelines and parameters for the analysis of this cultural and social heritage. It will now undergo a critical interpretation through a range of exhibitions, meetings, debates, new acquisitions of oeuvres and documents and new publications that will help to place this history within a comparative context. Spazio GAM is the name for this many-sided working practice. By witnessing the history of the GAM and taking its own cultural roots as an object of investigation, Spazio GAM will endeavor to interpret the relationship between the collection and the museum framework as an opportunity for a methodological innovation, which will be verified over the years to come. This project is articulated in a picture gallery (“INTRO”), which is an introduction to the different environments of MAMbo’s collections, then in an area for temporary exhibitions to be dedicated to the specific theme of the museum’s collection in relation to the contemporary art field (“TOPICS”) and in a lounge (“OPEN LIBRARY”) conceived for further search, reflection and workshop activities.

Focus on Contemporary Italian Art
From March 15th on the MAMbo will also present the first selection of its new collections, focused on the more recent Italian scene. As the first museum to introduce in an explicit way what can be considered an authentic generational issue, the MAMbo devotes to the permanent collection a specific space which rather gives the idea of a laboratory: the large kilns room on the ground-floor. Chronological routes and forced thematic gatherings are avoided. It is the “open” relationship among the works that creates an environment where to express a working method which can hold a dialogue with architecture and design, engage into the experimentation of new media and the reinterpretation of traditional techniques. The sense of History’s purpose is surpassed, personal mythologies are instead considered and new works are conceived as authentic devices where movies, concerts or performances of other artists, also coming from other disciplines, are hosted. Intended as a reference point for the production, the presentation and the promotion of contemporary Italian art, the MAMbo’s collection counts on the prestigious partnership established with UniCredit Group.

Artists: Stefano Arienti, Sergia Avveduti, Massimo Bartolini, Vanessa Beecroft, Carlo Benvenuto, Simone Berti, Davide Bertocchi, Monica Bonvicini, Pierpaolo Campanini, Maurizio Cattelan, Loris Cecchini, Lara Favaretto, Giuseppe Gabellone, Luisa Lambri, Eva Marisaldi, Davide Minuti, Luca Pancrazzi, Paola Pivi, Riccardo Previdi, Elisa Sighicelli, Alessandra Tesi, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Nico Vascellari, Francesco Vezzoli.

Luigi Ontani
Curated by Gianfranco Maraniello

Following the two previous exhibitions at GAM (1982) and Villa delle Rose (1991), MAMbo devotes a major survey show to Luigi Ontani. An imaginative, narcissistic artistic persona, a consummate enchanter, an ironic provoker, a dreamlike experimenter, Ontani represented quite an anomaly in the Italian art scene at the end of the 1960s, even in a general climate of refusal of traditional artistic subjects and techniques. Ontani overcomes space-time barriers, manipulating various languages and proposing himself as an “art subject”, as an identity in constant transformation. Not even during the 1970s did Ontani use photography as a pure act of documentation, but rather as a surface on which he can stratify illusion upon illusion, using watercolors and overlapping prints with captivating polychrome varnish. A practice through which he redefined photographic representation’s criteria taking them to extreme consequences until he transcended them, flooding even ceramics, glass, masks, animated objects, stock characters, lenticulars unwinds, 16mm films and slide shows with his figure. Gigante3RazzEtà7ArtiCentAuro is not a traditional survey show but rather a spectacular experience that turns the museum halls into the stage for the permanent performance of the artist’s life.

A survey catalogue in three volumes will be available from April 2008.

Curated by Andrea Viliani

The collaboration involving Wade Guyton (Hammond, Indiana, USA, 1972) and Kelley Walker (Columbus, Georgia, USA, 1969) does not mark the formation of a stable duo nor an occasional collaboration project, but rather the approach of a self standing personality, an actual “third artist”, which is not so much the fusion of the artists’ autonomous practices as the need to tackle concerns faced by both of them in their separate research. By repossessing pre-existing images drawn from mass media, advertising, graphics and contemporary art, Guyton\Walker redefines and further explores Appropriation strategies and methodologies. The works in the show – their first large museum presentation in Europe – are heterogeneous as are their means of production: a mix of computerized graphics, silk-screen and digital printing on canvases, labels, flags, architecture-sized paraffin candles or even the walls and ceiling panels of the exhibition gallery. The flatness and commodity status of the original images take on an installation dimension which leads the two-dimensionality of the printed matter to dialogue with the three-dimensionality of the exhibition space. On the other hand the digital technologies used make these same images sublimate almost to becoming transparent, overlappable in an infinity of possible alternatives. In these set-ups, the boundaries usually defining the author, the image and the museum are called into question and, at the same time, given renewed drive. These formats are continually renewed by Guyton\Walker, engaging a real-time verification of their own consistency.

Catalogue: texts by Vincent Pécoil, Andrea Viliani and a conversation between Johanna Burton and
Bettina Funcke.

Ding Yi
Curated by Gianfranco Maraniello

Starting from the 1980s, the Chinese abstract painter Ding Yi (Shanghai, 1962) produced paintings and drawings on various supports, from canvas to cardboard, from ready-made fabrics to furniture, using different artistic media such as oil, acrylic, charcoal and pen. From the 1980s Ding Yi set out to find his own pictorial language, which is revealed in the choice of the simple character “+” (and its variant “x”) as synonyms of a mental structure as well as a pictorial expression which translates the essence of things. The “+” is the symbol of simplicity and self-discipline, a gesture which the artist meticulously and with constancy of heart repeats every day in his studio. The works succeeding 1997 may be seen as displaying Din Yi’s departure from an exclusively inner world to a closer observation of the world around him. He looks at every smallest facet of Shanghai, recording all the sudden changes in the life of this metropolis par excellence. The fluorescent and metallic colors he recently started using express the noise, the chaos, the turmoil, but also the incentives and potentialities arising from that “contemporary” as well as “futuristic” environment.

Catalogue: texts by Cao Weijun, Magdalena Kröner and Gianfranco Maraniello.

MAMbo - Museum of Modern Art of Bologna
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