Numbers and the Arts. Artists and numbers between the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Aosta – Carlo Franza’s blog

The Regional Archaeological Museum of Aosta hosts the exhibition “Artenumero. Artists and numbers between the 20th and 21st centuries”one look at the panoramabut of the art of the last sixty years through the use of …

Numbers and the Arts. Artists and numbers between the 20th and 21st centuries.  The exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Aosta – Carlo Franza's blog

The Regional Archaeological Museum of Aosta hosts the exhibition “Artenumero. Artists and numbers between the 20th and 21st centuries”one look at the panoramabut of the art of the last sixty years through the use of number. The exhibition, promoted by the Department of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Educational System and Policies for Intergenerational Relations of the Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta, is curated by Angela Madesani and produced by Nomos Edizioni. Over seventy works by important Italian and international artists divided into five sections, in a transversal path that crosses languages, themes, thoughts of history in which the number becomes a fundamental moment of reflection for the artist and the observer.

In the first section, dedicated to the relationship between the number and the timethe works of some of the most important international conceptual artists such as On Kawara, with books and postcards in an existential dimension between the personal and the collective. The great work of Luca Pancrazzi 24 hours on 24 it is a tribute to the practice of drawing, a daily exercise of care and dedication towards one’s work.

The number is closely linked to the temporal dimension even in the refined works of Elena Moderati. From Alighiero Boetti Two tapestries of different sizes, calendars, books and themed postcards are on display.
One minute of photography Of Franco Vimercati it is a sort of manifesto in which the artist declares the crux of his research: time and its measurement. In the same room as the latter are five works by Roman Opalka, between photographs and travel cards. The Polish artist created one of the most important works on time from 1965 until 2011. In the photographs of Carlo Valsecchi numbers represented by red LEDs are immersed in an abstract ethereal space. In the work of Daniela Comani It was me. Diary 1900-1999 we find ourselves faced with a sort of 20th century diary, in which the artist seems to experience each narrated event firsthand. In the second section, we investigate the link between number And storytellingin exposure one Line Of Piero Manzoniwith which the artist creates a pact with the spectator, to accept what he has declared: the length of the line itself.
In the two works on display by Elisabeth Scherffig the number is used to count the stone fragments from a Spanish quarry and the numbered casts of the signatures found in the great mosque of Cordoba. In 1,2,3,4 from 1974 Antoni Tàpies uses it to tell the story of the tragic events of his native country, Spain. Furthermore, numerical calculation becomes a personal story in the Way of the cross secular of Elisabetta Casella made with scagliola with small photographic images on the back. Among the most significant works on display, Five Fives (to Donald Judd) Of Joseph Kosuth from 1965, a neon work composed of numbers that the great American artist dedicated to the equally great artist Judd. Remedies Of Peter Bologna from 2002 are a series of particular enlargements of psychotropic drug leaflets, one of the symbols of our time, made with a particular photographic technique specifically designed for that work. The German conceptual artist Peter Dreher from 1974 to 2020 he painted the same glass with the same light, numbering the different works. At the beginning of the work he declared that he wanted to paint an invisible picture: a utopia that in some ways he managed to achieve. Paolo Pessarelli uses the pink pages full of numbers of the Financial Times to create different types of works, on the wall and on the floor in which the columned numbers are instant scans of stories and lives. Pages that act as a support to welcome and support the images of girls and boys recovered from oblivion, faces chosen from the many abandoned in antique markets. The work on display by Edward Kienholz it reports an economic figure, the emblem of a capitalist society at the apotheosis of its so-called “values”.

The third section consists of the relationship between number And space. It houses the documentation of the performance work For a lying eightby the Milanese artist Cioni Carpiwho proposed it at the Bolognese Performance Week in 1977. A discovery consists of the works of Andrea “Bobo” Marescalchifascinated by mathematics, numerical symbolism, repetition and arithmetic perfection, since the end of the 1980s he has created works in which the objectivity of the image is linked to playing cards and geometric shapes that overlap in colors (red and yellow above all) on the base painting, done in ink, with tones of black and grey. Twenty-six Gasoline Stations is the title of the book by Ed Ruscha which is considered to all intents and purposes a conceptual work, which documents the journey made by the artist from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City via what was then Route 66.

In the fourth section the number relates to sign and image, it is used in its semiotic and indexical meaning: by the pop works of Ugo Nespolo to the photograph of Luigi Ghirriof which one of the latest works is present, belonging to the Piazza Betlemme cycle, to the conceptual world of Maurizio Nannucciup to the refined sculptures of Robert Tiemann, which are part of the prestigious Panza di Biumo collection. Two precious cards of Hanne Darbovenfor whom numbers are a vehicle towards music, according to him the only true discovery of humanity.
The canvases of are playful Mimmo Iacopino made with tailor’s meters. Randomness, the roll of the dice determines the choice of colors in the cards Vincenzo Merola, the youngest of the artists on display. The relationship between number And arithmetic is the theme of the fifth section, where there are works by conceptual artists, such as Bernar Venetperhaps one of the authors who approached mathematics with greater awareness in the 1960s, and Mel Bochner which questions the intersections between language and mathematics. On show Pebbles, a great work by Laura Grisi of 1973 composed of one hundred and fifty color photographic images of stones, collected in small groups.
Also on display is a large neon work by Mario Merz of the series dedicated to Leonardo’s Fibonacci sequence, three works by Vincenzo Agnettiwho over the years has dedicated himself to the relationship between mathematics and language, and It was just a rooster, darlingan installation of seven elements, seven small paintings by Beatrice Pasquali which reflect on the theme of ars combinatoria. The exhibition catalogue, bilingual Italian-French, published by Nomos Edizioni, contains texts by Angela Madesani And Daria Jorioz.

Carlo Franza

Tags: Alighiero Boetti, Antoni Tàpies, Artenumero, Ed Ruscha, Edward Kienholz, Artists and numbers between the 20th and 21st centuries”, Hanne Darboven, Luca Pancrazzi, luigi ghirri, piero Manzoni, Pri, Prof. Carlo Franza, Ugo Nespolo